Brief intervention in general hospital for problematic prescription drug use: 12-Month outcome

Christiane Otto*, Brit Crackau, Ira Löhrmann, Anne Zahradnik, Gallus Bischof, Ulrich John, Hans Jürgen Rumpf

*Corresponding author for this work
24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The problematic use of prescription drugs (PDs) and related disorders are considerably prevalent but evidence concerning brief intervention for problematic PD users is sparse. A previous analysis of the present study on the effectiveness of brief intervention for problematic PD use in a general hospital revealed a significant reduction in PD use after 3 months. The analyses presented herein provides data from the 12-month follow-up. Method: In a randomized controlled trial, 126 proactively recruited general hospital patients were analyzed. The intervention group received two brief Motivational Interviewing (MI) sessions. Two follow-ups (after 3 and 12 months) were conducted. Intervention effects at 12-month follow-up on PD cessation and reduction were analyzed using regression methods and controlling for significant group differences. Subgroups of sedative/hypnotic- and opioid-users were examined. Results: No significant intervention effects were found in the overall sample. Respecting significant differences between the intervention and control groups, we detected no effects of the intervention for the subgroups of sedative/hypnotic- or opioid-users. Conclusions: In contrast to the short-term effects after 3 months, no long-term effects of brief MI sessions on PD use were found. More intensive interventions, booster-sessions or regular aftercare might help in stabilizing intervention effects on PD use among hospital patients. However, studies using larger samples are needed to allow more powerful and specific analyses. Different samples should be examined. Problems concerning the recruitment of study participants in PD research were discussed and should be considered in further studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2009

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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