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Organizational contexts of primary care approaches for managing problem drinking.

Schutte K, Yano EM, Kilbourne AM, Wickrama B, Kirchner JE, Humphreys K. Organizational contexts of primary care approaches for managing problem drinking. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2009 Jun 1; 36(4):435-45.

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Little is known about the organizational contexts associated with different primary care (PC) approaches to managing PC patients with drinking problems. Relying upon the Chronic Care Model and a theoretically based taxonomy of health care systems, we identified organizational factors distinguishing PC practices using PC-based approaches (managed by PC providers, mental health specialists, or jointly with specialty services) versus referral-based management in the Veterans Affairs health care system. Data were obtained from a national survey of 218 PC practices characterizing usual management approaches as well as practices' leadership, delivery system design, information system, and decision support characteristics and from a national survey of substance use disorder specialty programs. PC- and referral-based practices did not differ on the sufficiency of their structural resources, physician staffing, or on the availability of specialty services. However, PC-based practices were found to take more responsibility for managing patients' chronic conditions and had more staff for decision support activities.

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