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Gaceta Sanitaria

versión impresa ISSN 0213-9111


BALLESTEROS, J.; ARINO, J.; GONZALEZ-PINTO, A.  y  QUEREJETA, I.. Effectiveness of medical advice for reducing excessive alcohol conssumption: Meta-analysis of Spanish studies in primary care. Gac Sanit [online]. 2003, vol.17, n.2, pp.116-122. ISSN 0213-9111.

Introduction: Former systematic reviews have backed the efficacy of medical counselling, a form of brief intervention, on the treatment of excessive drinkers detected in primary care settings. Nevertheless, these results cannot be applied without criticism to Mediterranean populations which, so far, have not been represented in the aforementioned studies. The aim of the present study was to update the results on the efficacy of brief interventions in primary care by pooling Spanish studies. Methods: Studies were searched for by using appropriate databases and also by consulting to experts in the field to retrieve grey literature. Pooled estimations of effect sizes were calculated for two outcomes, the reduction in the amount of alcohol consumption and the decrease in the number of excessive drinkers. Results: Two over the 5 retrieved studies were not included in a former review. The effect size regarding the decrease of alcohol consumption was medium (d = - 0.46; 95% CI, - 0.29 to - 0.63; p < 0.0005; the intervention group outperformed the control by a 22%) and small for the decrease in the frequency of excessive drinkers (OR = 1.55; 95% CI, 1.06 to 2.26; p = 0.02; the intervention group outperformed the control by a 11%). The analysis by complimented protocols at the end of the study showed an effect size 1.5 times larger than the analysis performed on intention-to-treat basis. Conclusions: The results of this meta-analysis support the efficacy of brief intervention for excessive drinkers in primary care settings in Spain.

Palabras clave : Counseling; Brief intervention; Primary health care; Alcohol drinking; Treatment outcome; Treatment efficacy.

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