These videos can be included in a comprehensive training approach to screening, brief intervention and referral. Clinicians may wish to contact their professional organizations to explore the availability of continuing medical education (CME) workshops or other training resources, if required.
From the onset, the clinician takes a non-judgmental and motivational stance. This sets the stage for asking a patient to identify specific problems relating to alcohol use.
The clinician now urges the patient to identify benefits associated with the use of alcohol. The clinician then contrasts these felt benefits with the problems noted earlier in order to increase the patient’s ambivalence.
At this point, the clinician assesses the readiness of the patient to begin changing drinking behaviour. This can include helping the patient to recognize important sources of motivation to change.
Building on the earlier steps, the clinician now helps the patient to identify some achievable short-term goals for drinking change. In time-limited settings, the clinician might make this the start of a second visit.
In order to increase the likelihood for early success in reaching the initial goals for drinking change, the clinician asks the patient to anticipate potential obstacles and helps to identify ways of dealing with them.
When describing patterns of alcohol use, a patient may mention activities that are particularly dangerous such as, drinking while intoxicated. The clinician must then underscore the potential for serious consequences.
Since drinking at higher risk levels is frequently tied to other social or mental health problems, the clinician flags these issues and takes some first steps toward addressing the underlying issues.