Evaluation of Australia's first older adult-specific early intervention for reducing alcohol-related harm

Stephen J. Bright, Cylie M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the present case study was to evaluate the service-wide implementation of Australia's first older adult-specific early intervention called Older Wiser Lifestyles (OWL). OWL was designed to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm among people identified as being at risk. OWL used the Australian Alcohol-Related Problems Survey (A-ARPS) to classify people's drinking patterns as non-hazardous, hazardous or harmful. Participants of the present study were aged 60 years and consumed alcohol in the past month, although they did not require treatment for dependence. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Consumption (AUDIT-C) was used as a composite measure of alcohol consumption. Data were collected before intervention and 3 and 6 months after intervention. In all, 140 clients were screened and attended at least one appointment (54% male; mean ( s.d.) age 72.87.6 years). Generalised estimating equation (GEE) examined the correlations between the intervention groups, time point and outcomes of interest. At 6 months, significant reductions were observed in A-ARPS classification (P = 0.001) and AUDIT-C scores (P = 0.001) among all clients, regardless of the number of sessions or intervention group. These preliminary findings warrant a randomised clinical trial of the intervention. Until this is completed, Australian health care providers should still consider the early intervention to reduce the risk of alcohol consumption among older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-679
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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