Development of Australia's first older adult-specific early intervention for alcohol-related harm: Feasibility and proof of concept

Stephen J Bright, Cylie M Williams

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The rate of older Australians at risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm increased by 31% over the past 10 years, yet there are no Australian age-specific early interventions. We describe the development of Australia's first age-specific early intervention protocol. Methods: Through examining effective overseas older adult-specific interventions, in addition to other relevant literature, an early intervention protocol was developed. Results: The Older Wiser Lifestyles (OWL) early intervention protocol extends protocols that have been developed overseas through providing: (i) interventions that are tailored to the person's readiness to change, including the provision of harm reduction strategies for people who are precontemplative; and (ii) individualised psychoeducational materials regarding medical conditions and medications. Conclusion: The OWL protocol has been successfully implemented in a service, and preliminary data warrant a clinical trial of the intervention. Australian health-care providers should consider the OWL protocol as a simple method to reduce the risk from alcohol consumption among older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-55
Number of pages4
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Adverse medication interactions
  • Alcohol
  • Early intervention
  • Harm reduction

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