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Nurse meetings "help drinkers quit"

Receiving regular advice and information from specialist nurses could help 40% of dependent drinkers give up alcohol altogether, research has found.

After receiving a series of interventions with a motivational approach, 77% of alcoholics reduced their dependence on alcohol, while four out of 10 completely abstained from drinking, according to University of Liverpool research fellow Dr Kathryn Cobain.

Two groups of 100 alcohol-dependent adults from the north-west of England took part in the six-month study, with one group receiving short interventions from an alcohol specialist nurse at the beginning, and up to six follow-up meetings over the next three months. Motivational questionnaires, advice, information and a discussion on patient feedback were included in the interventions.

The control group received a six-month follow-up appointment only, but none were able to completely stop drinking alcohol by the end of the trial, compared with the 40% who did after regular meetings with specialist nurses.

Royal College of Nursing Chief Executive and General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said: "This research adds to the growing bank of evidence showing the value nurses can provide in helping to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking."

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