Intention to utilize formal help in a sample with alcohol problems: A prospective study

Jennis Freyer*, Beate Coder, Gallus Bischof, Sebastian E. Baumeister, Hans Jürgen Rumpf, Ulrich John, Ulfert Hapke

*Corresponding author for this work
20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Studies investigating factors of treatment entry have predominantly focussed on persons that have already taken an initial step in the process of help-seeking. With particular emphasis on intention to utilize help, this study aims to detect predictors for alcohol-related help-seeking among a non-help-utilizing sample. Methods: Using 312 individuals with diverse alcohol problems (dependence, abuse, at-risk drinking), intention to utilize help was assessed in addition to evidence based predictors for utilization of help (e.g. severity of alcohol problem, prior help-seeking). Results: In addition to prior utilization of help (OR = 9.76, CI: 4.60-20.74) and adverse consequences from drinking (OR = 1.13, CI: 1.02-1.25), intention to utilize help (OR = 4.84, CI: 2.04-11.51) was a central predictor for help-seeking. Among individuals who had not obtained prior help, individuals intending to seek help were 8.7 times more likely to utilize help than those not intending to seek help (CI: 1.05-72.2). Conclusions: In the past, intention to utilize help has been neglected from models investigating treatment entry. This study's findings show that intention is a central factor for utilization of alcohol-specific formal help. Consequently, brief interventions focusing on enhancing motivation are expected to improve early help-seeking among general hospital patients with diverse alcohol problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)210-216
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 16.03.2007

Research Areas and Centers

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


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