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Alcohol Screening and Intervention Among United States Adults who Attend Ambulatory Healthcare.

Glass JE, Bohnert KM, Brown RL. Alcohol Screening and Intervention Among United States Adults who Attend Ambulatory Healthcare. Journal of general internal medicine. 2016 Jul 1; 31(7):739-45.

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BACKGROUND: There is limited data on the extent to which indicated alcohol interventions are delivered in U.S. ambulatory care settings. OBJECTIVE: To assess the receipt of alcohol-related services, including assessment of use, advice to reduce drinking, and information about alcohol treatment, during ambulatory care visits. DESIGN: Secondary data analysis of the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of civilians in the non-institutionalized U.S. general population (response rate 71.7 %). PARTICIPANTS: Adult ambulatory care users in the public use data file who did not obtain emergency or inpatient services (n? = 17,266). MAIN MEASURES: Measurements included respondents' alcohol consumption, heavy episodic drinking, alcohol use disorder, healthcare use, and receipt of alcohol-related interventions. KEY RESULTS: Approximately 71.1 % of ambulatory care users received an alcohol assessment. Among past-month heavy episodic drinkers without an alcohol use disorder who reported receiving an alcohol assessment, 4.4 % were advised to cut back. Among individuals with alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence who reported receiving an alcohol assessment, 2.9 % and 7.0 %, respectively, were offered information about treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Rates of alcohol screening and assessment were relatively high among adults who attended healthcare visits, but rates of intervention were low, even when individuals were assessed for use. Efforts are needed to expand delivery of interventions when patients are identified as positive for risky drinking, hazardous alcohol use, and alcohol use disorders during ambulatory care visits.

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