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Logo of ascpBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleAddiction Science & Clinical Practice
Addict Sci Clin Pract. 2012; 7(Suppl 1): A64.
Published online Oct 9, 2012. doi:  10.1186/1940-0640-7-S1-A64
PMCID: PMC3480067
Teaching screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment to social work students
Victoria Osborne,corresponding author1 Kalea Benner,2 Carol Snively,1 Dan Vinson,3 and Bruce Horwitz4
1School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
2College of Human Environmental Sciences School of Social Work, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
3Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, MO, USA
corresponding authorCorresponding author.
International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs (INEBRIA) Meeting 2011
Richard Saitz
The conference was funded in part by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The content of the abstracts included in this supplement is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIAAA, NIDA, or the National Institutes of Health. Financial support for publication of this supplement was provided by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs (INEBRIA) Meeting 2011
21-23 September 2011
Boston, MA, USA
Although social workers encounter many clients with substance use problems, curricula rarely require education on addictions. The screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) model was initially directed to practicing physicians. Recently, training has evolved to include medical students. This study describes the first known application of SBIRT training to social work students. The goal was to assess students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward alcohol misuse before and after SBIRT training. Students were given a questionnaire assessing attitudes, knowledge and perceived skills with regard to substance misuse. A computerized training session focused on symptoms of at-risk drinking and implementing SBIRT. Descriptive statistics explained overall knowledge, attitudes, and perceived screening and intervention skills. T-tests compared changes pre- and post-test. Seventy-four social work students (33 undergraduate and 41 graduate) completed the training modules and pre- and post-tests. Significant differences were found in seven of the 13 questions. Students reported more confidence in their ability to assess for alcohol misuse and successfully intervene with clients who have substance use behaviors. They reported feeling more strongly that routine screening and brief intervention were crucial to clinical practice. Incorporating alcohol screening and brief intervention techniques into social work practice is an important aspect of effective treatment. Training students to screen and intervene is critical to improving treatment skills. Teaching SBIRT is a simple and effective way to implement addictions education into social work curricula. Such training appears to increase students’ perceptions of their ability to change client behaviors and reduce client alcohol misuse.
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