Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title
Chen JA, Glass JE, Bensley KMK, Goldberg SB, Lehavot K, Williams EC. Racial/ethnic and gender differences in receipt of brief intervention among patients with unhealthy alcohol use in the U.S. Veterans Health Administration. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2020 Dec 1; 119:108078.
OBJECTIVE: Brief intervention (BI) for unhealthy alcohol use is a top prevention priority for adults in the U.S, but rates of BI receipt vary across patients. We examine BI receipt across race/ethnicity and gender in a national cohort of patients from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-the largest U.S. integrated healthcare system and a leader in implementing preventive care for unhealthy alcohol use. METHODS: Among 779,041 VA patients with documented race/ethnicity and gender who screened positive for unhealthy alcohol use (AUDIT-C score = 5) between 10/1/09 and 5/30/13, we fit Poisson regression models to estimate the predicted prevalence of BI (EHR-documented advice to reduce or abstain from drinking) across race/ethnicity and gender. RESULTS: Rates of BI were lowest among Black women (67%), Black men (68%), and Asian/Pacific Islander women (68%), and highest among white men (75%), Hispanic men (75%), and Asian/Pacific Islander men (75%). A significant race/ethnicity by gender interaction indicated that the associations between race/ethnicity and gender with BI depended on the other factor. Gender differences were largest among Asian/Pacific Islander patients and were nonsignificant among American Indian/Alaska Native patients. Adjustment for covariates not expected to be on the causal pathway (e.g., age, year of AUDIT-C screen) slightly attenuated but did not change the direction of results. CONCLUSIONS: Receipt of BI for unhealthy alcohol use varied by race/ethnicity and gender, and the impact of one factor depended on the other. Black women, Black men, and Asian/Pacific Islander women had the lowest rates of receiving recommended alcohol-related care. We found these disparities in a healthcare system that has implemented universal alcohol screening and incentivized BI for all patients with unhealthy alcohol use, suggesting that reducing disparities in alcohol-related care may require targeted interventions.