Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use In Patients

Date:
March 16, 2009
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Researchers at Boston Medical Center have found that a single-screening question recommended by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism accurately identifies unhealthy alcohol use in primary-care patients. The recommended question asks, "How many times in the past year have you had X or more drinks in a day?" (where X is 5 for men and 4 for women).

Researchers at Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found that a single-screening question recommended by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) accurately identifies unhealthy alcohol use in primary-care patients. This research supports the use of the brief screen in the primary-care setting. The BMC study appears online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Related Articles


Unhealthy alcohol use, the spectrum from risky consumption to alcohol use disorders, alcohol abuse and dependence, is prevalent but under-diagnosed in primary-care settings. Commonly used alcohol screening instruments are comprised of multiple questions, often do not cover the full spectrum of unhealthy use, and can be time consuming to administer. Consequently, many patients are not screened.

The NIAAA recommends a single-question screen for unhealthy alcohol use. The recommended question asks, "How many times in the past year have you had X or more drinks in a day?" (where X is 5 for men and 4 for women). While similar single-question screens have been validated in various settings, the NIAAA recommended screening test had not been validated in the primary-care setting. BMC researchers attempted to validate this version of the screening question in a sample of primary-care patients.

Of the 286 study participants reviewed, unhealthy alcohol use was reported by 31 percent of participants. Six percent consumed risky amounts but did not have alcohol-related problems or a disorder, 13 percent consumed risky amounts and had problems but no current disorder and 12 percent had a current alcohol use disorder. The single-question screen was 81.8 percent sensitive and 79.3 percent specific for the detection of unhealthy alcohol use. It was slightly more sensitive and less specific for the detection of a current alcohol use disorder.

"The single-question screening recommended by the NIAAA appears to have favorable characteristics," said lead author Peter Smith, MD, attending physician in the section of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center. "Single-question screening tests for unhealthy alcohol use may help to increase the frequency of screening in primary-care."

Researchers further state that screening and brief intervention by primary-care physicians for those with unhealthy alcohol use reduces risky consumption among those without dependence and improves patient outcomes.

This study was funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism had no role in the design and conduct of the study, the collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data, or the preparation, review and approval of the manuscript.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use In Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090311111011.htm>.
Boston University. (2009, March 16). Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use In Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090311111011.htm
Boston University. "Single Question Can Identify Unhealthy Alcohol Use In Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090311111011.htm (accessed November 29, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Tryptophan Isn't Making You Sleepy On Thanksgiving

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — Tryptophan, a chemical found naturally in turkey meat, gets blamed for sleepiness after Thanksgiving meals. But science points to other culprits. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins