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Knowledge gaps and acceptability of abbreviated alcohol screening in general practice: A cross-sectional survey of hazardous and non-hazardous drinkers

Isted, A; Fiorini, F; Tillmann, T; (2015) Knowledge gaps and acceptability of abbreviated alcohol screening in general practice: A cross-sectional survey of hazardous and non-hazardous drinkers. BMC Family Practice , 16 , Article 72. 10.1186/s12875-015-0290-1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: General practice provides a unique setting where hazardous alcohol consumption can be screened for and behavioural interventions can be implemented in a continuous care model. Our aim was to assess in a general practice population, the prevalence of hazardous drinking, the knowledge and attitudes surrounding alcohol, and the acceptability of brief interventions in alcohol. Methods: A cross-sectional survey in a practice in South London, performed as part of a wider service evaluation. Questionnaires were offered to adult patients awaiting their appointments. Responses were stratified according to hazardous drinking, as per the abbreviated 'Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test' (AUDIT-C). Results: Of 179 respondents (30 % male), 34 % yielded an AUDIT-C ≥5 and 18 % reported that they never drink alcohol. Male and Caucasian patients were more likely to self-report hazardous drinking, who in turn were more likely to believe in the health benefits of moderate consumption. Little over half of patents thought that alcohol is a risk factor for cancer and were misinformed of its calorific content, suggesting two targets for future improvement. Patients' knowledge about what is a single 'unit' of alcohol was below that expected by random chance 66 % agreed that alcohol screening should feature in all GP consultations. Conclusions: While awareness of alcohol related health risks is generally good, future efforts may benefit from focusing on the association with cancer and calories. Our findings question the utility of the 'unit' system, as well as dissemination of suggested 'health benefits' of moderate consumption. General practice initiatives in screening and brief advice for alcohol deserve further study.

Type: Article
Title: Knowledge gaps and acceptability of abbreviated alcohol screening in general practice: A cross-sectional survey of hazardous and non-hazardous drinkers
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12875-015-0290-1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12875-015-0290-1
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Isted et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Alcohol drinking, Binge drinking, Early medical intervention, General practice, Health education, Mass screening, Primary health care
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472450
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