A treatment package to improve primary care services for relatives of people with alcohol and drug problems

A Copello, L Templeton, M Krishnan, J Orford, Richard Velleman

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The present paper reports the results of an intervention study with baseline and post treatment measures that was conducted to test the feasibility and impact of a structured treatment package. The latter was used by professionals in the primary care setting working with relatives of people with alcohol and drug problems. The package consisting of a brief psyche-social intervention and information leaflets was tested by a) measuring the impact of the intervention on relatives' stress and coping and b) assessing the feasibility of training General Practitioners, Practice Nurses and Health Visitors to use the package as well as the impact of using the package upon their attitudes and confidence towards working with this group. Both relatives' coping and symptoms and the primary care professionals attitudes and confidence towards working with this group were measured twice, once before and again after the intervention. It was found that following the intervention relatives showed a significant decrease in physical and psychological symptoms and a reduction in engaged and tolerant forms of coping. In addition a significant improvement was found in the confidence and attitudes of the group of professionals who tested the intervention when compared to those who did not. It is concluded that given a coherent package and ongoing support, primary care professionals can be recruited and trained to work with relatives of alcohol and drug users in their health care setting. This work results in positive outcomes for these relatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-484
Number of pages14
JournalAddiction Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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