Developing training for screening and brief intervention regarding alcohol consumption in the Russian Federation


Representatives from  WHO Regional Office for Europe, international consultants, leading Russian experts in the field of narcology, addiction and preventionand practicing physicians from hospitals in the Moscow oblast, participated in a meeting on 17–18 October 2016 to develop training for screening and brief intervention for harmful alcohol consumption within primary health care settings.

This meeting followed on from an expert advisory group held in Lyngby, Denmark in June 2016 where international experts discussed the development of a train-the-trainer toolkit for screening and brief intervention of hazardous and harmful alcohol use for English speaking countries.  The Moscow meeting further discussed how the toolkit could meet the needs of the Russian Federation and aspects to consider for tailoring the resources to the Russian context.

Russian experts highlighted aspects of the health care system that are important to consider when tailoring screening and brief intervention training programs for implementation in the Russian Federation and subsequently what aspects the train-the-trainer workshops will need to cover.  

Screening and brief intervention: an important policy option for reducing harm in the Russian Federation

Recent data shows that whilst alcohol consumption has declined in the Russian Federation in the last ten years, the level of alcohol-attributable mortality is still amongst the highest in the Region.  Evidence supports the widespread implementation of screening and brief intervention programmes in primary health care settings for individuals with hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption as a means to reduce ill health and premature death.

However, currently very few  people are actually identified and offered advice. Under the area of health services' response, the "European action plan to reduce the harmful use of alcohol 2012–2020" promotes government investments in early identification and brief advice programmes for example by ensuring that primary care providers receive the training and clinical materials they need to set up such programs.

The meeting was held at the V. Serbsky Federal Medical Research Centre of Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, which is supporting the project and will be involved in further steps to finalize the toolkit and implement trainings around the Russian Federation.

This meeting was was co-sponsored with the support of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.