Brief intervention addressing excessive cannabis use in young people consulting their GP: a pilot study

Dagmar M. Haller, Anne Meynard, Daniele Lefebvre, Andre Tylee, Francoise Narring, Barbara Broers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background When excessive cannabis consumption occurs in adolescence, the adverse consequences extend into adulthood. Interventions by GPs are effective in preventing harm associated with alcohol use. Similar interventions have potential in addressing cannabis use. Aim To develop and pilot test a brief intervention targeting excessive cannabis use (defined as >= 1 x/week) in young people in primary care. Design of the study Pilot intervention trial. Setting Seven family practices in Switzerland. Method The team collaborated with GPs and young people to develop the intervention. Seven GPs piloted its use in their consultations. Patients aged 15 to 24 years consulting for any health problem were recruited before the consultation. Cannabis use, other substance use, and their psychosocial correlates were assessed with a short confidential questionnaire administered before the consultation and 1 month later. GPs, staff, and patients were asked to comment on the study and its feasibility. Results Of 81 young people invited to participate, 78 (70% female) agreed (participation rate: 96%). One in seven (13.2%, 95% confidence interval = 7.5% to 18.9%) used cannabis at least once a week. Data at 1 month were available for 42% who had provided email contact details and 91% of those who had provided their mobile phone number (63% overall). In most cases, the intervention lasted no more than 5 minutes. Comments from participants added favourable data towards the feasibility of the study. Conclusion This pilot study provides a solid base on which to build a randomised trial of a brief intervention addressing cannabis use in young people consulting in family practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166 - 172
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Issue number560
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


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