The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3342.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 9:30 PM

Abstract #41753

Alcohol screening and brief intervention for homeless and near-homeless patients in a community hospital clinic

Peter J Ellis, MD, MPH, Primary Care Internal Medicine, Yale University and Waterbury Hospital, 64 Robbins Street, Waterbury, CT 06721, 203-573-6746, and Rene I. Jahiel, MDPhD, President, International Health Policy Research, 250 Main Street(#732), Hartford, CT 06106.

Alcohol screening and brief intervention (ASBI) by primary care physicians has been found effective in reducing drinking by patients in HMOs and other private insurance settings. Our objective is to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of ASBI in a general-medicine, community hospital based clinic staffed by 37 primary care residents supervised by university faculty. ASBI includes a) a pre-screen to classify patients in 4 categories: no; moderate; hazardous (risky), and dependent drinking, which may be combined with other preventive screening; b) a screen for risky and dependent drinkers, the AUDIT; and c) a brief (2-5 minutes) counseling by physician, particularly for patients with risky drinking. It has been introduced since January 2002 as routine in a clinic attended mainly by low-income patients. Early results show that it is feasible but requires special training of residents, some logistic modifications in clinic routine and adequate utilization of the receptionist. Among 229 patients who completed surveys so far, the number of patients in the categories of alcohol dependent and risky drinking (<2% and 10% respectively) were lower than anticipated. Risky patients cooperated with the brief intervention. They will be followed for one year to assess effectiveness. This is the first instance of use of ASBI by residents and with a low income clinic population, including but not limited to homeless and near homeless people.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Homeless

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Special Populations - What People Do

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA