Social workers’ and their clients’ attitudes toward alcohol screening and counselling: 15th annual conference of INEBRIA

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Background: Social work professionals frequently encounter clients with alcohol-related problems and thus can play a central role in the early identification of problems. However, there has been little research on how professionals or their clients perceive alcohol screening and counselling. This study explores the topic and presents a qualitative analysis of social workers’ and their clients’ attitudes toward alcohol screening and counselling. The analytical focus is on how the two parties constructed screening and counselling in their arguments and did professionals and clients do this in the same way or were there differences between them?Materials and methods: The study employs a qualitative attitude approach. The aim of the approach is to explore the construction of attitudes in argumentative talk. Social work professionals (N = 14) and their clients (N = 14) were asked to comment on the eight statements concerning identification and management of alcohol-related problems. The analysis was performed in two stages. In the classifying analysis, different types of stands or justifications towards each statement were identified. Then, the interpretative analysis brought categories into a conceptual dialogue with relevant theoretical concepts and discussions. Here, the primary objective is to explore how alcohol screening and counselling were constructed as attitude objects.Results: Analysis of the qualitative data reveals that both professionals and clients constructed alcohol screening and counselling similarly as: (1) useful tools for motivation, (2) self-evident parts of social work and (3) tools for discussing sensitive topics. However, compared with the clients, the professionals appeared to associate alcohol screening and counselling more closely with the client’s fulfilment of responsibilities and the ability to function well. On the other hand, compared with the professionals, the clients connected alcohol screening and counselling more closely to privacy-threatening interaction.Conclusions: The professionals and their clients appeared to have common ways to construct alcohol screening and counselling. However, the professionals focused on the client’s responsibilities and well-being; the clients place the same emphasis on interaction and discussion about privacy-threatening topics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAddiction Science & Clinical Practice : Proceedings of the 15th annual conference of INEBRIA
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

Publication series

NameAddiction Science & Clinical Practice
PublisherBioMed Central Ltd.
ISSN (Print)1940-0632
ISSN (Electronic)1940-0640


  • 5144 Social psychology


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