Involvement of general practitioners in managing alcohol problems: a randomized controlled trial of a tailored improvement programme
ABSTRACT To assess the effect of a tailored multi-faceted improvement programme on general practitioners' (GPs') behaviour towards prevention of hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. The improvement programme consisted of activities aimed at the GP, organization and patient. Educational training sessions and visits by a facilitator were tailored to the GPs' needs and attitudes.
Cluster randomized controlled trial.
General practices in the Netherlands.
Seventy-seven general practices; 119 GPs participated. Data from 6318 patients were available, of whom 765 (12.1%) were at risk. A total of 1502 patients' electronic medical records were reviewed.
The primary outcome was the number of eligible patients who received screening and advice.
Difficulties in recruiting GPs and in motivating GPs for participation in the tailored parts of the programme impeded optimal implementation of the programme. Although GPs in both groups became more involved after enrolment, this improvement waned during the trial. The quality improvement programme enhanced the initial improvement in behaviour and it tempered waning (intervention group), compared to our control condition, resulting in average improvement rates of 5% (screening) and 2% (advice-giving) at 12-month follow-up (not significant).
A tailored, multi-faceted programme aimed at improving general practitioner management of alcohol consumption in their patients failed to show an effect and proved difficult to implement. There remains little evidence to support the use of such an intensive implementation programme to improve the management of harmful and hazardous alcohol consumption in primary care.
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ABSTRACT: This article presents an update on addiction-related medical literature for the calendar years 2010 and 2011, focusing on studies that have implications for generalist practice. We present articles pertaining to medical comorbidities and complications, prescription drug misuse among patients with chronic pain, screening and brief interventions (SBIs), and pharmacotherapy for addiction.Journal of General Internal Medicine 01/2011; 26(1):77-82. DOI:10.1007/s11606-010-1461-3 · 3.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: To assess the effects of a tailored, multifaceted intervention in primary care on the level of patients' alcohol consumption and to investigate which patient and organizational factors determine a reduction in alcohol consumption. This was a cluster randomized, controlled trial conducted among primary care practices in The Netherlands. Data from 6318 patients were available, of whom 712 patients from 70 practices were hazardous or harmful alcohol users. The improvement (intervention) program combined professional, organizational, and patient-directed activities. The emphasis was on educational training for general practitioners and support visits by a trained facilitator, tailored to the participants' needs and attitudes. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients with hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption, as measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, who reduced their levels of alcohol consumption to low-risk levels after 2 years. Of the hazardous and harmful alcohol users, a substantial proportion (41.6%) reduced their alcohol consumption to a low-risk level. The trial revealed a significant difference in favor of the control group: 35.5% of the patients with hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption in general practitioners' practices in the intervention group and 47.0% of this patient group in general practitioners' practices in the control group reduced their alcohol consumption to a low-risk level (odds ratio [OR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.43-0.90). Older age (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.03), female sex (OR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.26-3.19), and attitudes toward alcohol use seemed to be the most important predictors for the reduction of alcohol use to a low-risk level. Patients who considered it important to reduce alcohol consumption and patients who believed that less alcohol complicates relaxation were less likely to reduce their alcohol use to a low-risk level (OR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.19-0.80 and OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.37-0.90, respectively). Characteristics of the general practices, however, were not associated with reduced alcohol use. Our results suggest that the intervention has been counterproductive because the proportion of patients reducing their levels of alcohol consumption to low-risk levels was lower in the intervention group compared with the control group. Furthermore, our study demonstrated that patients' attitudes toward alcohol use are an important determinant of the success of the program. Therefore, future research should focus on the effectiveness of methods to change patients' attitudes.The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 09/2012; 25(5):712-22. DOI:10.3122/jabfm.2012.05.120070 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Alcohol use is an important issue among problem drug users. Although screening and brief intervention (SBI) are effective in reducing problem alcohol use in primary care, no research has examined this issue among problem drug users. The objective of this study is to determine if a complex intervention including SBI for problem alcohol use among problem drug users is feasible and acceptable in practice. This study also aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in reducing the proportion of patients with problem alcohol use. Psychosocial intervention for alcohol use among problem drug users (PINTA) is a pilot feasibility study of a complex intervention comprising SBI for problem alcohol use among problem drug users with cluster randomization at the level of general practice, integrated qualitative process evaluation, and involving general practices in two socioeconomically deprived regions. Practices (N=16) will be eligible to participate if they are registered to prescribe methadone and/or at least 10 patients of the practice are currently receiving addiction treatment. Patient must meet the following inclusion criteria to participate in this study: 18 years of age or older, receiving addiction treatment/care (eg, methadone), or known to be a problem drug user. This study is based on a complex intervention supporting SBI for problem alcohol use among problem drug users (experimental group) compared to an "assessment-only" control group. Control practices will be provided with a delayed intervention after follow-up. Primary outcomes of the study are feasibility and acceptability of the intervention to patients and practitioners. Secondary outcome includes the effectiveness of the intervention on care process (documented rates of SBI) and outcome (proportion of patients with problem alcohol use at the follow-up). A stratified random sampling method will be used to select general practices based on the level of training for providing addiction-related care and geographical area. In this study, general practitioners and practice staff, researchers, and trainers will not be blinded to treatment, but patients and remote randomizers will be unaware of the treatment. This study is ongoing and a protocol system is being developed for the study. This study may inform future research among the high-risk population of problem drug users by providing initial indications as to whether psychosocial interventions for problem alcohol use are feasible, acceptable, and also effective among problem drug users attending primary care. This is the first study to examine the feasibility and acceptability of complex intervention in primary care to enhance alcohol SBI among problem drug users. Results of this study will inform future research among this high-risk population and guide policy and service development locally and internationally.01/2013; 2(2):e26. DOI:10.2196/resprot.2678