The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The frequency and content of discussions about alcohol use in primary care and application of the Chief Medical Officer’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines: A cross-sectional survey of general practitioners and practice nurses in the UK

The frequency and content of discussions about alcohol use in primary care and application of the Chief Medical Officer’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines: A cross-sectional survey of general practitioners and practice nurses in the UK
The frequency and content of discussions about alcohol use in primary care and application of the Chief Medical Officer’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines: A cross-sectional survey of general practitioners and practice nurses in the UK
Aims To examine how often general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) working in primary care discuss alcohol with patients, what factors prompt discussions, how they approach patient discussions and whether the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) revised low-risk drinking guidelines are appropriately advised. Methods Cross-sectional survey with GPs and PNs working in primary care in the UK, conducted January–March 2017 (n = 2020). A vignette exercise examined what factors would prompt a discussion about alcohol, whether they would discuss before or after a patient reported exceeded the revised CMO guidelines (14 units per week) and whether the CMO drinking guidelines were appropriately advised. For all patients, participants were asked how often they discussed alcohol and how they approached the discussion (e.g. used screening tool). Results The most common prompts to discuss alcohol in the vignette exercise were physical cues (44.7% of participants) or alcohol-related symptoms (23.8%). Most practitioners (70.1%) said they would wait until a patient was exceeding CMO guidelines before instigating discussion. Two-fifths (38.1%) appropriately advised the CMO guidelines in the vignette exercise, with PNs less likely to do so than GPs (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77, P = 0.03). Less than half (44.7%) reportedly asked about alcohol always/often with all patients, with PNs more likely to ask always/often than GPs (OR = 2.22, P < 0.001). Almost three-quarters said they would enquire by asking about units (70.3%), compared to using screening tools. Conclusion Further research is required to identify mechanisms to increase the frequency of discussions about alcohol and appropriate recommendation of the CMO drinking guidelines to patients.
0735-0414
Birch, Jack M.
a2b3edaf-3242-46f3-8ea7-eedc03cfce1c
Critchlow, Nathan
4e9bb406-278a-4f24-a4a5-166bbb03345a
Calman, Lynn
9ae254eb-74a7-4906-9eb4-62ad99f058c1
Petty, Robert
0905fac6-1bf5-46f2-a924-83188b27624d
Rosenberg, Gillian
a6ef5033-d01b-4811-b909-99ad163607f2
Rumgay, Harriet
e15eff02-d875-4486-9ee2-d1e505ada635
Vohra, Jyotsna
95a649a5-9049-4a02-ac5c-f48a714eb10b
Birch, Jack M.
a2b3edaf-3242-46f3-8ea7-eedc03cfce1c
Critchlow, Nathan
4e9bb406-278a-4f24-a4a5-166bbb03345a
Calman, Lynn
9ae254eb-74a7-4906-9eb4-62ad99f058c1
Petty, Robert
0905fac6-1bf5-46f2-a924-83188b27624d
Rosenberg, Gillian
a6ef5033-d01b-4811-b909-99ad163607f2
Rumgay, Harriet
e15eff02-d875-4486-9ee2-d1e505ada635
Vohra, Jyotsna
95a649a5-9049-4a02-ac5c-f48a714eb10b

Birch, Jack M., Critchlow, Nathan, Calman, Lynn, Petty, Robert, Rosenberg, Gillian, Rumgay, Harriet and Vohra, Jyotsna (2020) The frequency and content of discussions about alcohol use in primary care and application of the Chief Medical Officer’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines: A cross-sectional survey of general practitioners and practice nurses in the UK. Alcohol and Alcoholism. (doi:10.1093/alcalc/agaa120).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims To examine how often general practitioners (GPs) and practice nurses (PNs) working in primary care discuss alcohol with patients, what factors prompt discussions, how they approach patient discussions and whether the Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) revised low-risk drinking guidelines are appropriately advised. Methods Cross-sectional survey with GPs and PNs working in primary care in the UK, conducted January–March 2017 (n = 2020). A vignette exercise examined what factors would prompt a discussion about alcohol, whether they would discuss before or after a patient reported exceeded the revised CMO guidelines (14 units per week) and whether the CMO drinking guidelines were appropriately advised. For all patients, participants were asked how often they discussed alcohol and how they approached the discussion (e.g. used screening tool). Results The most common prompts to discuss alcohol in the vignette exercise were physical cues (44.7% of participants) or alcohol-related symptoms (23.8%). Most practitioners (70.1%) said they would wait until a patient was exceeding CMO guidelines before instigating discussion. Two-fifths (38.1%) appropriately advised the CMO guidelines in the vignette exercise, with PNs less likely to do so than GPs (odds ratio [OR] = 0.77, P = 0.03). Less than half (44.7%) reportedly asked about alcohol always/often with all patients, with PNs more likely to ask always/often than GPs (OR = 2.22, P < 0.001). Almost three-quarters said they would enquire by asking about units (70.3%), compared to using screening tools. Conclusion Further research is required to identify mechanisms to increase the frequency of discussions about alcohol and appropriate recommendation of the CMO drinking guidelines to patients.

Other
The Frequency and Content of Discussions About Alcohol Use in Primary Care and Application of the Chief Medical Officer’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines - Accepted Manuscript
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (158kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 12 October 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 November 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445694
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445694
ISSN: 0735-0414
PURE UUID: d3e3b56f-2234-4cdb-81f0-add216e667e7
ORCID for Lynn Calman: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9964-6017

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Jan 2021 17:40
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 05:16

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: Jack M. Birch
Author: Nathan Critchlow
Author: Lynn Calman ORCID iD
Author: Robert Petty
Author: Gillian Rosenberg
Author: Harriet Rumgay
Author: Jyotsna Vohra

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×