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RCT of effectiveness of motivational enhancement therapy delivered by nurses for hazardous drinkers in primary care units in Thailand

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Published copy (DOI)


  • Sairat Noknoy
  • Ram Rangsin
  • Pichai Saengcharnchai
  • Usa Tantibhaedhyangkul
  • Jim McCambridge


Publication details

JournalAlcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire)
DatePublished - 20 Mar 2010
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)263-70
Original languageEnglish


AIMS: To determine the effectiveness of Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) for hazardous drinkers in Primary Care Unit (PCU) settings in rural Thailand.

METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted in eight PCUs in Ubonratchatanee and Chachoengsao provinces in Thailand. Hazardous drinkers were identified using the World Health Organization-recommended Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test. Of 117 eligible participants (91% male), 59 were randomized to the intervention group to receive MET in three individual appointments with a trained nurse and 58 to an assessment-only control group. Outcome evaluations were carried out after 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months.

RESULTS: Follow-up data were available on 84, 94 and 91% of subjects, respectively, at the three intervals. Self-reported drinks per drinking day, frequency of hazardous drinking assessed either on a daily or weekly basis, and of binge drinking sessions were reduced in the intervention group more than in the control group (P < 0.05) after both 3 and 6 months. The groups did not generally differ at 6 weeks. However, although self-reported consumption in both groups fell from baseline to 6-month follow-up, serum gamma-glutamyl transferase increased in both groups, which raises doubts about the validity of this marker in this sample and/or the validity of the self-reported data in this study.

CONCLUSION: MET delivered by nurses in PCUs in Thailand appears to be an effective intervention for male hazardous drinkers. Uncertainties about the validity of self-reported data jeopardize the safety of this conclusion.

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Alcoholism, Biological Markers, Double-Blind Method, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Health Behavior, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Nurses, Primary Health Care, Psychiatric Status Rating Scales, Psychotherapy, Sample Size, Thailand, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult, gamma-Glutamyltransferase

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