Study shows need to increase screening for unhealthy alcohol use during primary care visits

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A new study, published in Journal of General Medicinerefers to patients’ unhealthy alcohol consumption using a questionnaire that was not fully developed during the initial care visit.

Researchers have found that despite the recommendations of the current US Immunization Service, the diagnosis for alcohol use The disease was diagnosed during less than 3% of office visits from 2014 to 2016.

“Unfortunately, primary care physicians are very concerned about the health of their patients throughout the day and can be overlooked about alcohol during office visits,” said Brittany Chatterton, a research fellow at the Care Department. and UC Davis Home Remedies.

For the study, Chatterton teamed up with Alicia Agnoli, assistant professor in the Department of Family and Public Medicine at UC Davis; Joshua Fenton, assistant director of research at the Department of Family and Community Medicine at UC Davis; and Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, chief medical officer at the Zuckerberg General Hospital San Francisco General Hospital.

The team evaluated 19,213 visits by patients 18 years of age or older to a primary care physician trained by a family doctor or obstetrician. They reviewed data collected from the National Institutes of Health to examine how doctors used alcohol screening questions and made recommendations on alcohol use.

The study showed an alcohol test with a valid questionnaire occurred during only 2.6% of visits. Alcohol advice, given by a doctor or by a consultant, is recorded in only 0.8% of visits. The diagnosis is possible if the primary care physicians saw the patients, were new patients to the operation, or had multiple medical conditions.

“Screening interviews are an effective tool to identify patients who are at risk for alcohol abuse,” Chatterton said. “With the health and social benefits of alcohol abuse, the identification and prevention of alcoholism is critical.”

According to the National Institute for Alcohol and Alcoholism (NIAAA), nearly one in three adults in the United States use alcohol in an unhealthy way. It is estimated that alcohol abuse affects about one-third of adults in their lifetime.

Alcohol abuse involves a variety of behaviors, from dangerous to dangerous alcohol abuse. The NIAAA describes the use of dangerous alcohol by men as drinking more than four drinks a day or more than 14 drinks a week. For women it is taken more than thirteen times a day or more than seven drinks a week. “Drinking unhealthy alcohol is associated with a variety of common diseases, including cancer and breast cancer especially for women,” Chatterton said. “It is very important for patients to talk to their doctors about alcohol use and find out if they need to reduce their risk by taking less.”

To increase the screening rate for alcohol abuse, researchers have suggested strategies to avoid relying directly on the primary care physician to increase screening levels. Technology-based alcohol testing techniques, including online research and brief interventions, have been shown to successfully identify and reduce alcohol consumption. For these services without a web-based platform, assessment questions may be conducted in the waiting room prior to the office visit.

“This is definitely a tool to help start a conversation about alcohol consumption,” Chatterton said. “If we do not diagnose patients, we will not recognize that they may have a problem and have no chance of intervening.”

One in four seniors was not asked about alcohol use

Learn more:
Brittany Chatterton et al, Alcohol Exhibition During US First Care Visit, 2014-2016, Journal of General Medicine (2022). DOI: 10.1007 / s11606-021-07369-1

hint: Study highlights need to increase exposure to alcohol abuse during initial care visit (2022, April 7) returned 7 April 2022 from -alcohol-primary.html

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