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Brief Interventions for Substance-Use Disorder in Older Patients 

Brief Interventions for Substance-Use Disorder in Older Patients
Brief Interventions for Substance-Use Disorder in Older Patients

Roland C. Merchant

and Francesca L. Beaudoin

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date: 01 December 2021

Substance-misuse brief interventions for older adults are structured interventions of relative brevity, although the purpose, number, and frequency of the intervention sessions can vary. Brief interventions provide initial linkage to appropriate follow-up care. This chapter provides an overview of brief interventions for substance misuse among older adults, a review of research examining the effectiveness of these interventions, and suggestions for research strategies on this topic. Limitations in the accuracy of screening instruments for alcohol and substance-use disorders in older adults are considered. We review age-related factors that influence the interventional needs of older adults. Contextual factors include medical and psychological conditions as well as cognitive decline and mobility challenges. We present preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of brief interventions for substance-use disorders in older adults. Future directions in research are explored, including the use of age-specific content to enhance outcomes from brief interventions.

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