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Client Experiences of a Telephone-Delivered Intervention for Alcohol Use: a Qualitative Study

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International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Telephone-delivered interventions for mild-to-moderate alcohol problems are becoming increasingly available. This study explored experiences of Ready2Change (R2C), a multiple-session outbound telephone-delivered psychological intervention for mild-to-moderate alcohol use disorder, to inform treatment uptake and scalability strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 participants (mean age = 37.97, 46% female) and analysed thematically, focusing on how R2C’s telephone modality and content afforded or constrained opportunities to reduce alcohol consumption. R2C’s modality afforded novel opportunities: sense of anonymity in receiving treatment, outside of traditional hours. R2C’s content allowed clients to tailor treatment to their needs and develop a therapeutic relationship despite the distance-based modality. Some participants were constrained by the lack of face-to-face interaction, perceived to limit rapport development. Social pressure was identified as constraining R2C’s effectiveness for some participants, which is also a constraint of available treatments more broadly. Telephone interventions can overcome treatment barriers and add capacity to the AOD sector.

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We would like to thank the participants who provided their feedback for the study. We would like to thank Dr. Michael Savic for his advice on the qualitative analyses performed, and the other researchers from Turning Point’s Clinical and Social Research team for their assistance in conducting the study. Thank you also Dr. Jerry Lai and Deakin eResearch for their contribution to the set-up of the REDCap electronic data capture form for the R2C trial, used in this study to quantify the sample’s demographic characteristics.


The parent trial is funded via a Project Grant (#1125026) from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

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Authors and Affiliations



Chloe Bernard: investigation; formal analysis; writing—original draft; writing—review and editing.

Jasmin Grigg: conceptualisation; methodology; supervision; project administration; writing—review and editing.

Isabelle Volpe: validation; writing—review and editing.

Dan I Lubman: conceptualisation; funding acquisition; writing—review and editing.

Victoria Manning: conceptualisation; funding acquisition; supervision; project administration; writing—review and editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chloe Bernard.

Ethics declarations

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000.

Conflict of Interest

The parent trial is funded via a Project Grant from the NHMRC. The funding source has had no influence on the design, data collection or writing of this study. Pro.f Lubman has received travel support and speaker honoraria from Astra Zeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Camurus, Indivior, Janssen, Lundbeck, Servier and Shire. Miss Bernard, Dr. Grigg, Miss Volpe and A/Prof Manning declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethics Approval

This study was performed in line with the principles of the Declaration of Helsinki. Approval was granted by the Eastern Health Human Research Ethics Committee (E12-2017) and the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (12809).

Consent to Participate

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Consent to Publish

Participants signed informed consent regarding publishing the data in this study.

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Bernard, C., Grigg, J., Volpe, I. et al. Client Experiences of a Telephone-Delivered Intervention for Alcohol Use: a Qualitative Study. Int J Ment Health Addiction 20, 522–540 (2022).

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