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Testing the initial efficacy of a mailed screening and brief feedback intervention to reduce at-risk drinking in middle-aged and older adults: The comorbidity alcohol risk evaluation study

  • Author(s): Kuerbis, AN
  • Yuan, SE
  • Borok, J
  • Lefevre, PM
  • Kim, GS
  • Lum, D
  • Ramirez, KD
  • Liao, DH
  • Moore, AA
  • et al.

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© 2015, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2015, The American Geriatrics Society. Objectives To determine the initial efficacy of a mailed screening and brief intervention to reduce at-risk drinking in persons aged 50 and older. Design Pilot randomized controlled trial. Setting University of California at Los Angeles Department of Medicine Community Offices and Primary Care Network. Participants Individuals aged 50 and older who were identified as at-risk drinkers according to the Comorbidity Alcohol Risk Evaluation Tool (CARET) (N = 86). Intervention Participants were assigned randomly to receive personalized mailed feedback outlining their specific risks associated with alcohol use, an educational booklet on alcohol and aging, and the National Institutes of Health Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health booklet (intervention group) or nothing (control group). Measurements Alcohol-related assessments at baseline and 3 months; CARET-assessed at-risk drinking, number of risks, and types of risks. Results At 3 months, fewer intervention group participants than controls were at-risk drinkers (66% vs 88%), binge drinking (45% vs 68%), using alcohol with a medical or psychiatric condition (3% vs 17%), or having symptoms of such a condition (29% vs 49%). Conclusion A brief mailed intervention may be an effective approach to intervening with at-risk drinkers aged 50 and older.

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