The response of primary care physicians to problem drinkers.
ABSTRACT This study examines the extent and characteristics of primary care physicians' response to their patients' drinking problems and several factors which might impede or facilitate their response. The data were collected in an anonymous questionnaire survey of primary care practitioners in the greater Boston area. Although most had been exposed to some type of alcohol education, few physicians were very confident in their patient management skills and few felt professionally responsible for long-term alcohol treatment. The data suggest that physicians may be reluctant to become involved in treatment they are not prepared to carry out or which they feel is not appropriate to their role. If physicians are to be encouraged to take an active role in the diagnosis and treatment of alcoholism, the emphasis of educational programs should go beyond increasing knowledge and changing attitudes, and focus instead on providing the necessary clinical skills.
Article: Professional satisfaction experienced when caring for substance-abusing patients: faculty and resident physician perspectives.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This survey aimed to describe and compare resident and faculty physician satisfaction, attitudes, and practices regarding patients with addictions. Of 144 primary care physicians, 40% used formal screening tools; 24% asked patients' family history. Physicians were less likely (P <.05) to experience at least a moderate amount of professional satisfaction caring for patients with alcohol (32% of residents, 49% of faculty) or drug (residents 30%, faculty 31%) problems than when managing hypertension (residents 76%, faculty 79%). Interpersonal experience with addictions was common (85% of faculty, 72% of residents) but not associated with attitudes, practices, or satisfaction. Positive attitudes toward addiction treatment (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 4.60; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.59 to 13.29), confidence in assessment and intervention (AOR, 2.49; 95% CI, 1.09 to 5.69), and perceived responsibility for addressing substance problems (AOR, 5.59; CI, 2.07 to 15.12) were associated with greater satisfaction. Professional satisfaction caring for patients with substance problems is lower than that for other illnesses. Addressing physician satisfaction may improve care for patients with addictions.Journal of General Internal Medicine 05/2002; 17(5):373-6. · 2.83 Impact Factor
Article: Screening and intervention for alcohol problems. A national survey of primary care physicians and psychiatrists.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To describe adult primary care physicians' and psychiatrists' approach to alcohol screening and treatment, and to identify correlates of more optimal practices. Cross-sectional mailed survey. A national systematic sample of 2,000 physicians practicing general internal medicine, family medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatry. Self-reported frequency of screening new outpatients, and treatment recommendations in patients with diagnosed alcohol problems, on 5-point Likert-type scales. Of the 853 respondent physicians (adjusted response rate, 57%), 88% usually or always ask new outpatients about alcohol use. When evaluating patients who drink, 47% regularly inquire about maximum amounts on an occasion, and 13% use formal alcohol screening tools. Only 82% routinely offer intervention to diagnosed problem drinkers. Psychiatrists had the most optimal practices; more consistent screening and intervention was also associated with greater confidence in alcohol history taking, familiarity with expert guidelines, and less concern that patients will object. Most primary care physicians and psychiatrists ask patients about alcohol use, but fewer use recommended screening protocols or offer formal treatment. A substantial minority of physicians miss the opportunity to intervene in alcohol problems. Efforts to improve physicians' screening and intervention for alcohol problems should address their confidence in their skills, familiarity with expert recommendations, and beliefs that patients object to their involvementJournal of General Internal Medicine 03/2000; 15(2):84-91. · 2.83 Impact Factor