Applied Health Economics and Health Policy

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 155–166 | Cite as

Modelling the Costs and Outcomes of Changing Rates of Screening for Alcohol Misuse by GPS in the Australian Context

  • Marian ShanahanEmail author
  • Anthony Shakeshaft
  • Richard P. Mattick
Original Research Article


Aim: To assess the relative cost effectiveness of four strategies (academic detailing, computerised reminder systems, target payments and interactive continuing medical education) to increase the provision of screening and brief interventions by Australian GPs with the ultimate goal of decreasing risky alcohol consumption among their patients.

Methods: This project used a modelling approach to combine information on the effectiveness and costs of four separate strategies to change GP behaviours to estimate their relative cost effectiveness.

Results: The computerised reminder system and academic detailing appear most effective in achieving a decrease in the number of standard drinks consumed by risky drinkers.

Conclusion: Regardless of the assumptions made, the targeted payment strategy appeared to be the least cost-effective method to achieve a decrease in risky alcohol consumption while the other three strategies appear reasonably comparable.


Continue Medical Education Standard Drink Reduce Alcohol Consumption Outreach Visit Risky Alcohol Consumption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors acknowledge the Alcohol Education Research Foundation (AERF) for funding this project and thank J. Fawcett and Associate Professor C. Doran for their contribution to the initial report; and Professor H. Britt and her team for providing data. The authors also thank Associate Professor K. Conigrave, Professor R. Sanson Fisher, Mr G. Powell Davies, and two anonymous reviewers for their suggestions.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marian Shanahan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anthony Shakeshaft
    • 1
  • Richard P. Mattick
    • 1
  1. 1.National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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