Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Primary Care Alcohol Screen Raised Patient Trust

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Primary Care Alcohol Screen Raised Patient Trust

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Screening and intervention for alcohol problems can enhance the quality of a primary care visit, at least from a hazardous drinker's perspective.

Perceived quality of care, however, was not associated with the odds of hazardous drinking 6 months after the office visit, reported Richard Saitz, M.D., in a poster presented at the annual conference of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse.

In a regression analysis, Dr. Saitz of Boston University and his colleagues assessed the responses of 288 adult hazardous drinkers who saw 40 physicians for a general office visit. The patients' mean age was 43 years, 57% were black, 61% were men, and 71% saw a physician that they had seen on a prior occasion. They averaged six drinks per drinking day.

After the office visits, the patients were asked whether they had received alcohol counseling, such as advice on safe drinking limits or advice to cut down on or abstain from drinking.

After adjusting for variables, such as sex, race, education, comorbidity, level of physician training, previous visits to the same physician, and current alcohol problems, the mean scores in three areas of the Primary Care Assessment Survey--communication, comprehensiveness, and trust--were significantly higher among the 132 patients who said they had received alcohol counseling, compared with the 156 who said they had not received counseling, said Dr. …

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