Systematic reviews of alcohol screening and brief interventions (ASBI) highlight the challenges of implementation in healthcare and community-based settings. Fewer reviews have explored this through examination of qualitative literature and fewer still focus on interventions with younger people.
This review aims to examine qualitative literature on the facilitators and barriers to implementation of ASBI both for adults and young people in healthcare and community-based settings. Searches using electronic data bases (Medline on Ovid SP, PsychInfo, CINAHL, Web of Science, and EMBASE), Google Scholar and citation searching were conducted, before analysis.
From a total of 239 papers searched and screened, 15 were included in the final review; these were selected based on richness of content and relevance to the review question. Implementation of ASBI is facilitated by increasing knowledge and skills with ongoing follow-up support, and clarity of the intervention. Barriers to implementation include attitudes towards alcohol use, lack of structural and organisational support, unclear role definition as to responsibility in addressing alcohol use, fears of damaging professional/ patient relationships, and competition with other pressing healthcare needs.
There remain significant barriers to implementation of ASBI among health and community-based professionals. Improving the way health service institutions respond to and co-ordinate alcohol services, including who is most appropriate to address alcohol use, would assist in better implementation of ASBI. Finally, a dearth of qualitative studies looking at alcohol intervention and implementation among young people was noted and suggests a need for further qualitative research.