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Nurses key to alcohol treatment

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Alcoholics can overcome their dependency quicker if they have regular one-on-one sessions with their own alcohol specialist nurse, a study has found.

A recent study by a team from the University of Liverpool found that out of a group of 100 alcohol dependant adults, 40% had managed to abstain from alcohol entirely after an intensive three-month programme of motivational advice and feedback sessions with a nurse.

Two groups were used during the six-month study. One group underwent the motivational approach involving regular sessions with a nurse while a control group had an initial meeting and a follow-up session some six months later.

Of those in the control group, none had managed to stop drinking compared to 40% of the patients that were involved in the new motivational programme.

The technique was a comparative success for those that did not complete the study, with 77% of those involved in the motivational approach reporting a reduced dependence on alcohol despite not finishing the course.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the study reveals the “value” of nurses in the fight against alcohol addiction.

“This research adds to the growing bank of evidence showing the value nurses can provide in helping to reduce the harm caused by excessive drinking,” he said.

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