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Brief advice reduced drinking in non-dependent problem drinkers

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Objective

To determine the effectiveness of brief advice given by primary care physicians to problem drinkers.

Design

1 year randomised controlled trial (Trial for Early Alcohol Treatment [TrEAT]).

Setting

17 community clinics in Wisconsin, USA, comprising primary care practices of 64 general internists and family physicians.

Patients

Of 17 695 patients screened, 2925 had a drinking problem and 1705 were interviewed by a researcher to determine eligibility. Screening yielded 774 patients who were 18 to 65 years of age (62% men) and drank >14 alcoholic drinks/week (11 drinks/wk for women). Exclusion criteria were pregnancy, alcohol treatment in the previous year, symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in the past 12 months, receipt of physician advice to change alcohol use in the past 3 …

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