A 5-step intervention to help family members in Italy who live with substance misusers

Richard Velleman, C Arcidiacon, F Procentese, A Copello, P Sarnacchiaro

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34 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Family members of people with serious alcohol or drug problems are negatively affected by the behaviour and problems of their substance misusing relative. Aims: Conduct a feasibility study, testing whether a intervention successful in the UK, aimed at helping family members of people with alcohol or drug problems (the 5-Step Intervention), would also be applicable in Italy. Method: Feasibility study. Results: It is feasible to deliver this intervention in Italy. Materials were successfully translated and back-translated and were deemed relevant for an Italian context; different health services organizations and their staff were recruited to participate; 52 family members were recruited and received the intervention. Before-and-after comparisons of these family members' physical and psychological symptoms, and their coping methods, showed that major and significant changes were made during and following the intervention. Conclusions: How family members cope with living with a relative with alcohol or drug problems is important. Issues related to the generalizability of the intervention are discussed, including the transferability of therapeutic interventions within Europe at a time of greater trans-European mobility, and the generalizability of the possible intervention to other contexts. Declaration of interest: There are no conflicts of interest.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • intervention
  • family
  • Substance misuse


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