What works? A review of evaluated alcohol misuse interventions among Aboriginal Australians


This review aimed to identify which intervention strategies have been effective in reducing excessive consumption of alcohol, and related harm, among some segments of Australia’s Aboriginal population. The review examined 14 reports dealing specifically with evaluation of particular intervention projects. These were grouped and systematically reviewed under the broad categories of treatment, health promotion education, acute interventions and supply reduction. The review finds that while a broad range ofintervention strategies has been employed, few systematic evaluations have been undertaken, and the methodologies employed have been generally insufficient to allow robust generalisation. The impact of most interventions appears limited but, in part, this may be a function of inadequate resourcing and program support. Despite the limitations of the evaluation reports, several conclusions can be tentatively drawn. It appears there is a need to employ a broader range of treatment models and complementary intervention strategies. Interventions are generally inadequately resourced. There is a suggestion that supply reduction interventions may be effective. Most importantly, there is a pressing need for more rigorous evaluation studies in cooperation with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.

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