Association Between Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention During Routine Check-ups and Alcohol Consumption Among Adults Living in California

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Archives of Psychiatric Nursing

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Background Alcohol consumption accounts for 1 in 10 deaths among U.S. adults and cost upwards of $200 billion each year due to productivity loss. Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (aSBIRT) was developed as a treatment approach for use in primary care to identify and reduce substance abuse. Although aSBIRT has proven to be successful, implementation rates remain low. Methods Using population level representative data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) conducted in California, this study utilizes logistic regression to analyze the association between self-reported drinking levels and screening and brief intervention practices during routine check-ups. Results The results demonstrated that the more an individual drank, the lower the odds of receiving aSBIRT during a routine check-up. Men had reduced odds of receiving intervention compared to women (odds ratio [OR], 2.21; confidence interval [CI], 1.68–2.90, p < 0.01) and diabetics had reduced odds of receiving intervention compared to non-diabetics (OR, 0.66; CI, 0.45–0.97, p = 0.3). Finally, those with lower income had reduced odds of intervention compared to those with higher income (OR, 1.84; CI, 1.33–2.56, p < 0.01). Among those who were at risk for alcohol abuse (83%) the intervention was only administered to 39%, and men had reduced odds of receiving intervention. Conclusion Physicians perform alcohol screenings, but do not follow up the screening with intervention. Attention should be focused on delivering intervention to those identified as at risk for alcohol abuse through standard screening tools, specifically to men, diabetics, and lower income groups. This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.


Adult; Alcohol drinking; Behavioral risk factor surveillance system; Data interpretation; Early intervention (education)


Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing



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