Need to know and wish to know: What individuals find important to know about treatment for alcohol problems in order to be able to decide whether to enter or not

Anette Søgaard Nielsen, Annette Elkjær Ellermann

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BACKGROUND – Over the years, several studies have tried to identify barriers to seeking treatment for alcohol problems. Lack of information about treatment availability has been identified as a barrier, but what kind of information do individuals in treatment for alcohol problems find should be available before treatment start and what information can wait until later? MATERIAL & METHOD – 25 treatment institutions participated in a survey among their treatment users. The questionnaire consisted of 30 items, of which 19 were questions about specific aspects of treatment, asking the participants how important it was to know about this aspect before treatment start. A total of 704 treatment users participated. RESULTS – By far the most participants rated information about the content of treatment as a priority. Information about how to contact the treatment institutions (via mail, phone or face-to-face) was given priority by about a fourth of the participants, closely followed by information about the influence the individuals themselves have on the treatment content, and information about treatment being free of charge. CONCLUSION – Individuals seeking and entering treatment for alcohol problems require information about the treatment itself and what it contains before they start treatment. This is in stark contrast to the kind of information that treatment seekers currently find, such as the opening hours of the treatment centre and similar practicalities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordisk Alkohol- & Narkotikatidskrift / Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)123-137
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 22. Apr 2016


  • barriers for seeking treatment
  • patient information needs
  • treatment for alcohol problems

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