Essay on Benefits of SBIRT and Motivational Interviewing

Published: 2021-07-02 01:29:41
652 words
3 pages
6 min to read
George Washington University
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Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is an integrated public approach that provides screening, secondary prevention of substance abuse, and early intervention for individuals who have complex alcohol problems. Besides that, clinical psychologists developed another method called motivational interviewing, which counsels people with alcohol-related problems. Research reveals that Hispanics have high rates of drug and substance issues. The paper discusses the significance of SBIRT and motivational interviewing in Hispanic clients. Due to the high levels of abstinence from alcohol among Hispanics, SBIRT approach and motivational interviewing are advantageous in their change process.

Using SBIRT approach with Hispanic families is important. According to Chartier and Caetano (n.d), higher rates of high-risk drinking are on the rise among Hispanics. Additionally, they affirm that alcohol dependency is greater among Hispanic populations. Furthermore, authors articulate that the consequences of drinking are more profound in Hispanics. As the statistics in 2007 put forward, Hispanic male drinkers cover 69.99% while female drinkers are 49.52% (Chartier and Caetano, n.d). Evidently, that is a high percentage of drinkers, which may result in adverse health issues. Because of that, SBIRT is important in Hispanic families because it helps to intervene with those who are at a high risk for psychosocial and health care problems related to substance abuse. Another reason the intervention is necessary to these ethnic groups is that their drinking problems increase the risk for trauma, injury, social and mental problems, as well as criminal justice involvement. When healthcare providers incorporate the SBIRT approach to Hispanics and consider their linguistic needs and beliefs, they might help them overcome their dependency on substance and drug related problems.

Cultural awareness plays a significant part in screening Hispanic clients. It plays a huge to an extent that Hispanics might feel discomfort while discussing their alcohol use. Clinicians ought to deliver brief intentions to Hispanics to prevent discrepancies of the patients race or ethnic group. Before the screening, healthcare providers have to provide services while bearing in mind the clients health beliefs, practices, cultural, and linguistic needs to bring positive health outcomes. However, a study by Field and Caetano (2010) indicates that cultural tailoring of the screening intervention occurs naturally when a Hispanic provider delivers those services.

Motivational interviewing is beneficial when working with Hispanic clients. According to a study by Field, Caetano, Harris, Frankowski, and Roudsari (2010), at twelve months, Hispanic patients who received brief motivational interviewing had a significant reduction of alcohol across measures such as average weekly consumption, and maximum use daily. In a separate study, Field and Caetano (2010) avow that ethnic concordance promoted effective treatment for brief motivational interviewing in alcohol reduction at 12 months after Hispanics adjusted to acculturation and immigration status.

In summary, both SBIRT and motivational interviewing plays a huge role in helping Hispanic clients go through the change process. Apparently, motivational interviewing is beneficial in Hispanic patients in a way that they tend to have more days of alcohol abstinence after the sessions. More so, brief interventions are feasible and efficient in reducing the use of alcohol and substance abuse. Overall, SBIRT and motivational interviewing providers have to be careful when providing feedback or information to Hispanics to ensure that they receive all the information they need. Most importantly, they should be aware of the variations in drinking norms based on immigration statuses and acculturation to help individuals feel comfortable talking to them about their substance and alcohol abuse.


Chartier, K., and Caetano, R. (n.d). Ethnicity and Health Disparities in Alcohol Research.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved from

Field, C., and Caetano, R. (2010). The role of ethnic matching between patient and provider on the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions with Hispanics. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 34(2), 262271.

Field, C. A., Caetano, R., Harris, T. R., Frankowski, R., and Roudsari, B. (2010). Ethnic

Differences in Drinking Outcomes Following a Brief Alcohol Intervention in the Trauma Care Setting. Addiction, 105(1), 6273.


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