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Effect of motivational interviewing on reduction of alcohol use.

  • Author(s): Nyamathi, Adeline
  • Shoptaw, Steven
  • Cohen, Allan
  • Greengold, Barbara
  • Nyamathi, Kamala
  • Marfisee, Mary
  • de Castro, Viviane
  • Khalilifard, Farinaz
  • George, Daniel
  • Leake, Barbara
  • et al.


Methadone-maintained (MM) clients who engage in excessive alcohol use are at high risk for HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Nurse-led hepatitis health promotion (HHP) may be one strategy to decrease alcohol use in this population.


To evaluate the impact of nurse-led HHP, delivered by nurses compared to motivational interviewing (MI), delivered by trained therapists in group sessions or one-on-one on reduction of alcohol use.


A three-arm randomized, controlled trial, conducted with 256 MM adults attending one of five MM outpatient clinics in the Los Angeles area. Within each site, moderate-to-heavy alcohol-using MM participants were randomized into one of three conditions: (1) nurse-led hepatitis health promotion group sessions (n=87); (2) MI delivered in group sessions (MI-group; n=79), or (3) MI delivered one-on-one sessions (MI-single, n=90).


Self-reported alcohol use was reduced from a median of 90 drinks/month at baseline to 60 drinks/month at 6-month follow-up. A Wilcoxon sign-rank test indicated a significant reduction in alcohol use in the total sample (p<.05). In multiple logistic regression analysis controlling for alcohol consumption at baseline and other covariates, no differences by condition were found.


As compared to two programs delivered by MI specialists, a culturally-sensitive and easy to implement nurse-led HHP program produced similar reductions in alcohol use over 6 months. Employing nurse-led programs may allow cost savings for treatment programs as well as a greater integration of alcohol reduction counseling along with a more comprehensive focus on general health-related issues than previously conducted.

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