Screening and brief intervention for hazardous drinking in an HMO: Effects on medical care utilization
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This study examined whether a brief intervention to reduce hazardous alcohol consumption among primary care patients reduced use of medical care. In a parent, randomized controlled trial, at-risk drinkers identified in HMO outpatient waiting rooms were randomly assigned to receive usual care or brief clinician advice plus a 15-minute motivational counseling session. The current study (n=514) examined the groups' use of outpatient and inpatient medical services during two years after intervention. Although the intervention reduced alcohol consumption at six-month follow-up, intervention and control groups made similar numbers of outpatient visits (M=17.7 vs. 18.3, respectively;p=.47), were equally likely to be hospitalized (21.2% vs. 22.0%;p=.81), and, among those hospitalized, had similar lengths of stay (4.7 vs. 6.6 days;p=.37). Although brief interventions to reduce hazardous drinking may potentially reduce medical care utilization, more evidence is needed to substantiate their practicality and cost-effectiveness.
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- Screening and brief intervention for hazardous drinking in an HMO: Effects on medical care utilization
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research
Volume 27, Issue 4 , pp 446-453
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