Study: Alcohol Counseling Reduces Episodes of Acute Pancreatitis

    A study from Finland concludes that repeated motivational counseling sessions following hospitalization for alcohol-associated pancreatitis are more effective in preventing further episodes than a single session delivered at discharge, Reuters reported March 26.

    Researchers assigned 120 patients who had suffered alcohol-associated acute pancreatitis to repeated anti-alcohol sessions or a one-time-only conversation. An initial, 30-minute anti-alcohol message was given to both groups before discharge, and then repeated to the test group at six-month intervals during scheduled outpatient clinic visits.

    At a two-year follow up, there were nine recurrent acute pancreatitis episodes among five patients in the test group, compared with 20 episodes among 13 patients in the comparison group. Additionally, among 84 patients interviewed at two years, significantly more patients in the test group had a “clear reduction” in dependency on alcohol.

    “The fact that recurrent acute pancreatitis during the first few years after the first episode of alcohol-associated acute pancreatitis is still a major problem speaks for the need of improved methods,” said study author Isto Nordback.

    In an editorial accompanying the study, Manfred Singer and co-authors at University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, Germany, said the study “is remarkable because it is one of the few scientific investigations in internal medicine and gastroenterology that targets both the underlying alcohol abuse and the alcohol-associated disease.”

    The study appeared in the March 2009 issue of the journal Gastroenterology.

    By Partnership Staff
    April 2009


    April 2009

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