Patient-reported offers of alcohol treatment for primary care patients at high-risk for an alcohol use disorder

Sean Grant, Katherine E. Watkins, Andy Bogart, Susan M. Paddock, Kimberly A. Hepner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background: This study assessed patient-reported alcohol treatment offers by health care providers following routine annual screening for alcohol use in primary care. Methods: A telephone interview within 30 days of the annual screen assessed demographics, alcohol and other drug use, mental health symptoms, and offers of formal treatment for alcohol by a Veterans Affairs health care provider. We included male patients (n = 349) at high risk for an alcohol use disorder (AUD) who had not received alcohol treatment in the past 3 months. We assessed self-reported receipt of any offers of formal treatment for alcohol use and associations of offers of formal treatment for alcohol with demographic and clinical variables. Results: A total of 145 patients (41.5%) reported an offer of at least 1 type of formal treatment for alcohol use. More severe alcohol misuse (odds ratio, 1.07; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.11) and younger age (odds ratio, 0.97, 95% confidence interval, 0.95- 0.99) were associated with reporting an offer of formal treatment. Conclusion: Most primary care patients at high risk for an AUD were not offered treatment following annual screening. Our results highlight the importance of training primary care providers in what constitutes appropriate medical treatment for this population and the most effective ways of offering treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-687
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Alcohol drinking
  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Demography
  • Health personnel
  • Mental health
  • Primary health care
  • Self-report
  • Telephone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Family Practice

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