Final Country Chapter, January 2006

Collaborative Centre:

Program on Substance Abuse of the Health Department of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (Órgan Tecnic de Drogodependències)

Chief Investigators:

Joan Colom i Farran and Antoni Gual i Solé

Geographical Area in which Implementation Strategy will be applied:


Starting Date:

November 1998

Completion Date:


Project Strands and Milestones:

Strand 1: Focus groups, training the trainer workshops, preparation of materials, strategic alliances, etc.
Strand 2: Implementation

Proposed Funding Sources:

Department of Health
Application for funding “Ajuts per accions especials de recerca i desenvolupament” of the Department of Universities, Research and Information Society of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia.

Local Support:

Socidrogalcohol (Spanish Scientific Society on Alcoholism)
SCMFiC (Catalan Scientific Society on Family Medicine)
Servei Català de la Salut (Official Agency of the Health Department which contracts providers of ealth services in Catalonia)
Institut Català de la Salut (Public Health Provider)


15 focus groups with GPs, nurses, patients, health planners and alcohol specialists.

Brief Intervention Package, including delivery systems:

Drink-less package adapted to Catalonia, with an addendum for treatment of less severe alcoholics in Primary Health Care and guidelines for referral to specialized centres.
The package is being delivered in the primary health care centres by specialists in addiction in the same geographical area. The specialists attended the workshop for trainers, so they were ready to begin the implementation and holding workshops in any primary health care centres following the guidelines of the “Skills for change” package.

Early Identification (Screening):

The tools included for the screening are the following validated questionnaires:
– the Audit questionnaire, in Catalan and in Spanish (Contel et al.1999; Rubio et al.1998),
– The AUDIT-C (Gual et al. 2002)
– A quantity/frequency questionnaire on alcohol consumption called the ISCA (Gual et al. 2001).
Each primary health care centre decides whether to use selective or systematic screening.

Rubio G., Bermejo J., Caballero M.C., Santo-Domingo J. Validación de la prueba para la identificación de transtornos por uso de alcohol (AUDIT) en atención primaria Revista Clínica Española 1998; 1(198) ;11-14

Contel M, Gual A, Colom J, Test para la identificación de transtornos por uso de alcohol (AUDIT): Traducción y validación del AUDIT al catalán y castellano Adicciones 1999; 4-11.

Gual A, Contel M, Segura L, Ribas A, Colom J. El ISCA (Interrogatorio Sistematizado de Consumos Alcohólicos): un nuevo instrumento para la identificación prematura de bebedores de riesgo Medicina Clínica, 18 2001 ; 117: 685-689.

Gual A, Segura L, Contel M, Heather N, Colom J. Audit-3 and audit-4: effectiveness of two short forms of the alcohol use disorders identification test.
Alcohol Alcohol. 2002 Nov-Dec;37(6):591-6.

Brief Intervention Process:

Brief intervention is being delivered following the guidelines of the Drink-less Program.
To facilitate the brief intervention four practical intervention guidelines as decision-tree has been developed: Alcohol related problems intervention guideline (the most general one), Motivational approach (to guide the intervention with unconscious or ambivalent patients), Risky drinking intervention guidelines, ADS intervention guidelines.
Two different booklets have been developed: one for risky drinkers (adapted from the original one) and one for dependent drinkers.

Training of Primary Health Care Staff:

Primary health care staff is being trained in five 60-minute sessions held at the primary health care centre as part of their regular CME activities.
The specialists began the co-ordination with primary health care co-ordinators on January 2002.

Data Analysis:

Quantitative and qualitative analyses of data collected are being done.


General Public:

The general public is not the target of the communication strategy. The target is all patients attending primary health care centres. Patients receive information through posters and leaflets on display in waiting rooms.
A press conference to introduce, officially, the Drink Less program was held on 23 November.

Health Professionals:

Health professionals were contacted through the training sessions and specific materials were also distributed. General symposia was held on 21 November for engaging both primary health care co-ordinators & alcohol specialists, before the beginning of the field work.

Other Stakeholders:
Media Advocacy:

The media was informed two days after the general symposia scheduled via the standard Health Department procedures.

Control of Communications Strategy:

Some questions about the effectiveness of the communication strategy were added in the questionnaires for patients and for professionals.


Lead organization(s):

Program on Substance Abuse and AIDS of the Health Department of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia
(Òrgan Técnic de Drogodependències i SIDA)

Building Strategic Alliances:

Socidrogalcohol (Spanish scientific society on alcoholism)
SCMFiC (Catalan scientific society on family medicine)
Servei Català de la Salut (Official agency of the Health department which contracts providers of health services in Catalonia)
Institut Català de la Salut (Public Health Provider)



Catalonia, with around 6.500.000 inhabitants, has 344 primary health care centres.

Projected Start Date:


Projected Completion Date:


Design of Project:

All primary health care professionals will receive the Beveu Menys training between 2002 and 2005. In 10% (randomly selected) of the centres a before-after study for the evaluation process is being implemented. Two trained evaluators visit the centres selected before and after the implementation of the program.

Outcome Measures:

We measure changes in attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of both patients and health professionals.
Attitudes and knowledge of alcohol are being measured through questionnaires delivered to random samples before and after the implementation process.
Behaviour is measured through random test of medical records to check the percentage of patients screened and advised. Consultations to specialised centres and number of referrals are also recorded before and after the implementation phase.

Process Measures:

During the implementation process, some measures are being collected:
” % of specialist professionals joined
” % of health professionals trained
” % of Beveu Menys training sessions held
” Number of phone calls to specialists
” Etc.

Economic Analysis:

We are sampling information on the economic costs and savings of the implementation.

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