Brief Advice on Reducing Alcohol Use


The acronym FRAMES captures the essence of the interventions commonly tested under the terms brief intervention and motivational interviewing.

Feedback: about personal risk or impairment (e.g., results from the AUDIT, the BriefTSF alcohol history and consequences inventory and/or from blood tests).

Responsibility: emphasis on personal responsibility for change.

Advice: giving clear advice may involve promoting total abstinence, advice to reduce drinking to safe levels or advice to seek further treatment such as BriefTSF.

Menu: of alternative options for changing drinking pattern and, jointly with the patient, setting a target; intermediate goals of reduction can be a start. Keeping a drinkers diary often helps.

Empathic interviewing: listening reflectively without cajoling or confronting; exploring with patients the reasons for change as they see their situation. Empathy is a potent determinant and motivator for change.

Self efficacy: the practitioner’s belief in the patient’s ability to change can also influence recovery. Continuing to address the problem in follow-up visits helps ensure a positive outcome. See also MET an interviewing style which enhances peoples’ belief in their ability to change (See Principles of Motivational Interviewing).

AA saying: I’m not responsible for my disease, but I am responsible for my behavior

From the BriefTSF training manuals.



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