Article

Can a brief clinical practicum influence physicians' communications with patients about alcohol and drug problems? Results of a long-term follow-up

Substance Abuse Intervention Programs, Wright State University School of Medicine, 216 Medical Sciences Building, Dayton, OH 45435, USA.
Teaching and Learning in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.12). 02/2000; 12(2):72-7. DOI: 10.1207/S15328015TLM1202_2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A survey was conducted in 1996 to assess the perceptions of medical school graduates concerning alcohol and drug problems among their patients, and their attitudes and comfort toward addressing these issues. Survey questionnaires were sent to all individuals who graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine, Dayton, Ohio, between 1982 and 1990.
The study aimed to assess the long-term impact that participation in a brief clinical experience in tandem with a standard didactic substance abuse curriculum material had on former medical students now in practice. The study examined how these physicians perceived their skills in communicating with their patients about alcohol and drug use, and attendant problems.
An Alcohol and Drug Use Communication (ADUC) scale was developed by combining several survey items. Data analyses included correlation assessments of the ADUC scale and other variables, and multiple-regression analyses for identifying factors independently associated with the ADUC scale although other factors were controlled.
Former students who participated in the brief clinical program, known as the Weekend Intervention Program, as part of their medical school curriculum were more likely to report having better communication concerning alcohol and drug use with their patients than students who only had didactic education. Also, additional training in addictions after graduation was significantly associated with better alcohol and drug use communication between physician and patient. Former students who participated in the Weekend Intervention Program were more than twice as likely as those without the experience to report confronting at least 10% of their patients about their concerns about the patients' alcohol or drug use.
The results of this study suggest that undergraduate medical students' participation in a modest clinical program can enhance substance abuse education. Through increased training in substance abuse, physicians reported greater confidence in their ability to relate to patients with substance abuse problems.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Li Li, Feb 20, 2014
1 Follower
 · 
52 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social workers and other helping professionals often have difficulty addressing client alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of potential barriers social workers might experience in discussing AOD use with clients. A pool of 29 items was generated, pilot tested, and given to social work students, and to home visitors (n = 219). Exploratory factor analysis using a rotated component matrix found 14 items clustering in three factors: attitudes, worker/client relationship skills, and knowledge. All factors had acceptable internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis on a larger sample is needed for further validation.
    Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 09/2006; 6(3):3-12. DOI:10.1300/J160v06n03_02
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A surprising number of elderly people suffer from substance-related disorders. Many more are at risk for developing poly drug problems due to their misuse and abuse of alcohol in combination with prescription medications and over-the-counter preparations. The purpose of this article is to update social workers on advances in geriatric addictionology by reviewing current epidemiological studies and extracting practice principles. Particular emphasis is placed on what the social work practitioner needs to know about screening elderly clients for substance abuse. The article concludes with specific recommendations to advance social work education and research in the field of addictions treatment.
    Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 03/2003; 3(2):85-103. DOI:10.1300/J160v03n02_06
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine if student attendance at a specialized prenatal clinic would yield any change in their comfort level and in their attitudes toward pregnant women with drinking problems. A total of 117 third-year students rotating consecutively on our core obstetrics-gynecology clerkship consented to enrolling in this prospective cohort study between February 2004 and June 2005. Each was assigned either to attend a half-day prenatal clinic designed specifically for women with alcohol and substance use disorders (study group) or not to attend the clinic (control group). The students answered anonymously a 15-question survey (using a 5-point Likert scale from 'strongly disagree' to 'strongly agree') at the beginning and at the midway point of the eight-week clerkship. Scores averaged for each question at the two points were compared within and between the two groups using paired-samples and independent-samples t-tests. No differences in responses to the survey were found between the study and control groups at the beginning of the clerkship. Students who attended the clinic became more comfortable in inquiring about patient alcohol consumption (p<0.001) and about social problems such as domestic violence (p<0.001). After attending the clinic, students reported that alcoholism was associated less with a weak will (p<0.01) and that group therapy has more importance (p<0.05). In contrast, the control group disagreed less that alcohol use was more of a moral and legal problem than a medical problem (p<0.05). An experience at this special prenatal clinic improved medical student awareness of complexities faced by problem drinkers, enhanced their comfort in talking to pregnant alcohol drinkers, and favored more sympathy toward alcoholism in general but not necessarily during pregnancy.
    Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 03/2007; 20(3):217-20. DOI:10.1080/14767050601057564 · 1.21 Impact Factor