Ready2Change - Alcohol Trial

A randomised controlled trial of a telephone-delivered cognitive and behavioural intervention to reduce problem alcohol use.


Alcohol use and related harm is a significant issue for many Australians. However, few people seek help from traditional alcohol and other drug treatment services due to concerns about privacy, experiences of shame and stigma, time constraints (e.g. due to work or child care responsibilities), or thinking their drinking isn’t serious enough to warrant conventional treatment. Many barriers to seeking help for alcohol use problems can be overcome through treatment programs that are delivered by telephone. These programs provide confidential support, at times convenient to the individual, and can be accessed from anywhere in Australia. Yet, until now, they have been underused and understudied in substance use populations (other than ‘quitlines’ for smoking cessation).

This aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a telephone-delivered cognitive and behavioural intervention, Ready2Change, in reducing problem alcohol use among individuals with alcohol use problems from the general population. The Ready2Change intervention involved 4 to 6 telephone sessions with a psychologist, which were tailored to the individual’s needs and treatment goals.


In this randomised controlled trial of 344 participants with problem alcohol use, reductions in the primary outcome – alcohol problem severity – were not significantly different between intervention and control groups 3 months later. However, the intervention was associated with a significantly greater reduction in hazardous alcohol use (i.e. alcohol use frequency, quantity, and heavy drinking frequency) 3 months later. Further, the Ready2Change intervention was effective in reducing hazardous alcohol use and reduced alcohol problem severity, risky drinking patterns, and total consumption when 2 or more sessions were delivered.

Findings demonstrate the potential benefits of this highly scalable telehealth model of alcohol treatment, with potential to reduce the treatment gap for problem alcohol use.

Project team

Turning Point team

Professor Dan Lubman, Professor Victoria Manning, Dr Jasmin Grigg, Mr Jonathan Tyler, Ms Isabelle Volpe, Ms Peta Stragalinos, Ms Anna Bough, Dr Jennifer Nation, Ms Sally Brown Mr Adam Rubenis.

Project partners

Professor Amanda Baker (University of Newcastle), Associate Professor Petra Staiger (Deakin University), Dr Kate Hall (Deakin University), Associate Professor John Reynolds (Monash University), and Professor Anthony Harris (Monash University), Professor David Best (Sheffield Hallam University).

Contact details

For enquiries, please contact:

Trial Manager
Jasmin Grigg
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (03) 8413 8723

Learn more about this project