Constance M Weisner

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (36)94.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To assess the effectiveness of brief motivational intervention for alcohol and drug use in young adult primary care patients in a low-income population and country.
    Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). Supplement 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Qualified physicians may prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence, but medication use remains controversial. We examined adoption of buprenorphine in two not-for-profit integrated health plans, over time, completing 101 semi-structured interviews with clinicians and clinician–administrators from primary and specialty care. Transcripts were reviewed, coded, and analyzed. A strong leader championing the new treatment was critical for adoption in both health plans. Once clinicians began using buprenorphine, patients' and other clinicians' experiences affected decisions more than did the champion. With experience, protocols developed to manage unsuccessful patients and changed to support maintenance rather than detoxification. Diffusion outside addiction and mental health settings was nonexistent; primary care clinicians cited scope-of-practice issues and referred patients to specialty care. With greater diffusion came questions about long-term use and safety. Recognizing how implementation processes develop may suggest where, when, and how to best expend resources to increase adoption of such treatments.
    Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 01/2014; 46(3):390–401.
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    ABSTRACT: Qualified physicians may prescribe buprenorphine to treat opioid dependence, but medication use remains controversial. We examined adoption of buprenorphine in two not-for-profit integrated health plans, over time, completing 101 semi-structured interviews with clinicians and clinician-administrators from primary and specialty care. Transcripts were reviewed, coded, and analyzed. A strong leader championing the new treatment was critical for adoption in both health plans. Once clinicians began using buprenorphine, patients' and other clinicians' experiences affected decisions more than did the champion. With experience, protocols developed to manage unsuccessful patients and changed to support maintenance rather than detoxification. Diffusion outside addiction and mental health settings was nonexistent; primary care clinicians cited scope-of-practice issues and referred patients to specialty care. With greater diffusion came questions about long-term use and safety. Recognizing how implementation processes develop may suggest where, when, and how to best expend resources to increase adoption of such treatments.
    Journal of substance abuse treatment 10/2013; · 2.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lower-risk drinking is increasingly being examined as a treatment outcome for some patients following addiction treatment. However, few studies have examined the relationship between drinking status (lower-risk drinking in particular) and healthcare utilization and cost, which has important policy implications. Participants were adults with alcohol dependence and/or abuse diagnoses who received outpatient alcohol and other drug treatment in a private, nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system and had a follow-up interview 6 months after treatment entry (N = 995). Associations between past 30-day drinking status at 6 months (abstinence, lower-risk drinking defined as nonabstinence and no days of 5+ drinking, and heavy drinking defined as 1 or more days of 5+ drinking) and repeated measures of at least 1 emergency department (ED), inpatient or primary care visit, and their costs over 5 years were examined using mixed-effects models. We modeled an interaction between time and drinking status to examine trends in utilization and costs over time by drinking group. Heavy drinkers and lower-risk drinkers were not significantly different from the abstainers in their cost or utilization at time 0 (i.e., 6 months postintake). Heavy drinkers had increasing odds of inpatient (p < 0.01) and ED (p < 0.05) utilization over 5 years compared with abstainers. Lower-risk drinkers and abstainers did not significantly differ in their service use in any category over time. No differences were found in changes in primary care use among the 3 groups over time. The cost analyses paralleled the utilization results. Heavy drinkers had increasing ED (p < 0.05) and inpatient (p < 0.001) costs compared with the abstainers; primary care costs did not significantly differ. Lower-risk drinkers did not have significantly different medical costs compared with those who were abstinent over 5 years. However, post hoc analyses found lower-risk drinkers and heavy drinkers to not significantly differ in their ED use or costs over time. Performance measures for treatment settings that consider treatment outcomes may need to take into account both abstinence and reduction to nonheavy drinking. Future research should examine whether results are replicated in harm reduction treatment, or whether such outcomes are found only in abstinence-based treatment.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 10/2013; · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010, the Washington Circle convened a meeting, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), for a multidisciplinary group of experts to focus on the research gaps in performance measures for substance use disorders. This article presents recommendations in three areas: development of new performance measures; methodological and other considerations in using performance measures; and implementation research focused on using performance measures for accountability and quality improvement.
    Addiction science & clinical practice 09/2012; 7(1):18.
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: This paper used data from a study of pediatric primary care provider (PCP) screening practices to examine barriers to and facilitators of adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) screening in pediatric primary care. METHODS: A web-based survey (N = 437) was used to examine the influence of PCP factors (attitudes and knowledge, training, self-efficacy, comfort with alcohol and drug issues); patient characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, comorbidities and risk factors); and organizational factors (screening barriers, staffing resources, confidentiality issues) on AOD screening practices. Self-reported and electronic medical record (EMR)-recorded screening rates were also assessed. RESULTS: More PCPs felt unprepared to diagnose alcohol abuse (42 %) and other drug abuse (56 %) than depression (29 %) (p < 0.001). Overall, PCPs were more likely to screen boys than girls, and male PCPs were even more likely than female PCPs to screen boys (23 % versus 6 %, p < 0.0001). Having more time and having other staff screen and review results were identified as potential screening facilitators. Self-reported screening rates were significantly higher than actual (EMR-recorded) rates for all substances. Feeling prepared to diagnose AOD problems predicted higher self-reported screening rates (OR = 1.02, p <0.001), and identifying time constraints as a barrier to screening predicted lower self-reported screening rates (OR = 0.91, p < 0.001). Higher average panel age was a significant predictor of increased EMR-recorded screening rates (OR = 1.11, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Organizational factors, lack of training, and discomfort with AOD screening may impact adolescent substance-abuse screening and intervention, but organizational approaches (e.g., EMR tools and workflow) may matter more than PCP or patient factors in determining screening.
    Addiction science & clinical practice 08/2012; 7(1):13.
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Treatment for alcohol disorders has traditionally been abstinence-oriented, but evaluating the merits of a low-risk drinking outcome as part of a primary treatment endpoint is a timely issue given new pertinent regulatory guidelines. This study explores a posttreatment low-risk drinking outcome as a predictor of future drinking and problem severity outcomes among individuals with alcohol use disorders in a large private, not for profit, integrated care health plan. METHODS: Study participants include adults with alcohol use disorders at 6 months (N = 995) from 2 large randomized studies. Logistic regression models were used to explore the relationship between past 30-day drinker status at 6 months posttreatment (abstinent [66%], low-risk drinking [14%] defined as nonabstinence and no days of 5+ drinking, and heavy drinking [20%] defined as 1 or more days of 5+ drinking) and 12-month outcomes, including drinking status and Addiction Severity Index measures of medical, psychiatric, family/social, and employment severity, controlling for baseline covariates. RESULTS: Compared to heavy drinkers, abstinent individuals and low-risk drinkers at 6 months were more likely to be abstinent or low-risk drinkers at 12 months (adj. ORs = 16.7 and 3.4, respectively; p < 0.0001); though, the benefit of abstinence was much greater than that of low-risk drinking. Compared to heavy drinkers, abstinent and low-risk drinkers were similarly associated with lower 12-month psychiatric severity (adj. ORs = 1.8 and 2.2, respectively, p < 0.01) and family/social problem severity (adj. OR = 2.2; p < 0.01). While abstinent individuals had lower 12-month employment severity than heavy drinkers (adj. OR = 1.9; p < 0.01), low-risk drinkers did not differ from heavy drinkers. The drinking groups did not differ on 12-month medical problem severity. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to heavy drinkers, low-risk drinkers did as well as abstinent individuals for many of the outcomes important to health and addiction policy. Thus, an endpoint that allows low-risk drinking may be tenable for individuals undergoing alcohol specialty treatment.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 07/2012; · 3.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of age, common life transitions, treatment, and social support on outcomes 5-9 years after alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment intake. Participants were patients from a large outpatient AOD treatment program in an integrated health plan. There were 1,951 participants interviewed at intake, of whom 1,646 (84%) completed one or more telephone follow-up interviews at 5, 7, and 9 years. Measures included AOD use based on the Addiction Severity Index; treatment; and changes in marital, employment, and health status in the years between each follow-up. We compared participants by age group (18-39, 40-54, and ≥55 years old at intake) and examined factors (time invariant and time varying) associated with outcomes at 5, 7, and 9 years by fitting mixed-effects logistic random intercept models. Changes in marital, employment, and health status varied significantly by age. Factors associated with remission across Years 5-9 included being in the middle-aged versus younger group (p < .001); female gender (p < .001); not losing a partner to separation, divorce, or death (p < .001); not experiencing a decline in health (p = .021); having any close friends supportive of recovery (p < .001); and not having any close friends who encourage AOD use (p < .001). Additional predictors, including employment changes, varied by drug versus alcohol abstinence outcome measures. Negative life transitions vary by age and are associated with worse outcomes. Older age and social support are associated with long-term AOD remission and abstinence. Findings inform treatment strategies to enhance recovery across the life span.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2012; 73(3):459-68. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined stability of remission in patients who were abstainers and non-problem users at 1-year after entering private, outpatient alcohol and drug treatment. We examined: (a) How does risk of relapse change over time? (b) What was the risk of relapse for non-problem users versus abstainers? (c) What individual, treatment, and extra-treatment characteristics predicted time to relapse, and did these differ by non-problem use versus abstinence? The sample consisted of 684 adults in remission (i.e., abstainers or non-problem users) 1 year following treatment intake. Participants were interviewed at intake, and 1, 5, 7, 9, and 11 years after intake. We used discrete-time survival analysis to examine when relapse is most likely to occur and predictors of relapse. Relapse was most likely at 5-year, and least likely at 11-year follow-up. Non-problem users had twice the odds of relapse compared to abstainers. Younger individuals and those with fewer 12-step meetings and shorter index treatment had higher odds of relapse than others. We found no significant interactions between non-problem use and the other covariates suggesting that significant predictors of outcome did not differ for non-problem users. Non-problem use is not an optimal 1-year outcome for those in an abstinence-oriented, heterogeneous substance use treatment program. Future research should examine whether these results are found in harm reduction treatment and self-help models, or in those with less severe problems. Results suggest treatment retention and 12-step participation are prognostic markers of long-term positive outcomes for those achieving remission at 1 year.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 04/2012; 125(1-2):67-74. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: How best to provide ongoing services to patients with substance use disorders to sustain long-term recovery is a significant clinical and policy question that has not been adequately addressed. Analyzing nine years of prospective data for 991 adults who entered substance abuse treatment in a private, nonprofit managed care health plan, this study aimed to examine the components of a continuing care model (primary care, specialty substance abuse treatment, and psychiatric services) and their combined effect on outcomes over nine years after treatment entry. In a longitudinal observational study, follow-up measures included self-reported alcohol and drug use, Addiction Severity Index scores, and service utilization data extracted from the health plan databases. Remission, defined as abstinence or nonproblematic use, was the outcome measure. A mixed-effects logistic random intercept model controlling for time and other covariates found that yearly primary care, and specialty care based on need as measured at the prior time point, were positively associated with remission over time. Persons receiving continuing care (defined as having yearly primary care and specialty substance abuse treatment and psychiatric services when needed) had twice the odds of achieving remission at follow-ups (p<.001) as those without. Continuing care that included both primary care and specialty care management to support ongoing monitoring, self-care, and treatment as needed was important for long-term recovery of patients with substance use disorders.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 10/2011; 62(10):1194-200. · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    Jason C Bond, Constance M Weisner, Kevin L Delucchi
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    ABSTRACT: Although the effect of alcohol assessment in medical settings has received attention, the longitudinal study of such efforts has been restricted to studying a single assessment/intervention dose. Such interventions can be recurrent and have effects on subsequent problem drinking. A sample of problem drinkers in the general population (n = 672) and with admissions to chemical-dependency programs (n = 926) was interviewed at baseline and 1, 3, 5, and 7 years later. At each wave, respondents were asked about their drinking, their medical visits, and the intensity of the medical contact (whether during the visit they were asked about their drinking and, if so, whether they received or were referred to alcohol treatment). Rates of problem drinking declined over time, from 48% at the 1-year follow up to 38% at the 7-year follow-up. Problem drinkers were more likely at each wave to receive or be referred to treatment. Alcohol and drug severity increased with more intensive medical-contact types over time. Predicting subsequent problem drinking status from prior intensity of medical contact, odds of problem drinking at subsequent waves decreased with time, age, and prior drug severity while increasing with volume and alcohol severity. Odds of problem drinking were lower among prior problem drinkers receiving assessment and treatment/referral, compared with the assessed-only group. Examined separately, this effect was found only for those drinkers with lower volumes (average < 0.5 drinks/day). Conclusions: Alcohol assessment may be effective in reducing problem drinking but may be most effective among the non-heaviest drinkers.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2011; 72(3):471-9. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the association between stopping smoking at 1 year after substance use treatment intake and long-term substance use outcomes. Nine years of prospective data from 1185 adults (39% female) in substance use treatment at a private health care setting were analyzed by multivariate logistic generalized estimating equation models. At 1 year, 14.1% of 716 participants who smoked cigarettes at intake reported stopping smoking, and 10.7% of the 469 non-smokers at intake reported smoking. After adjusting for sociodemographics, substance use severity and diagnosis at intake, length of stay in treatment, and substance use status at 1 year, those who stopped smoking at 1 year were more likely to be past-year abstinent from drugs, or in past-year remission of drugs and alcohol combined, at follow-ups than those who continued to smoke (OR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.2-4.7 and OR=1.6, 95% CI: 1.1-2.4, respectively). Stopping smoking at 1 year also predicted past-year alcohol abstinence through 9 years after intake among those with drug-only dependence (OR=2.4, 95% CI: 1.2-4.5). We found no association between past-year alcohol abstinence and change in smoking status at 1 year for those with alcohol dependence or other substance use diagnoses when controlling for alcohol use status at 1 year. Stopping smoking during the first year after substance use treatment intake predicted better long-term substance use outcomes through 9 years after intake. Findings support promoting smoking cessation among smoking clients in substance use treatment.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 11/2010; 114(2-3):110-8. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the associations between psychiatric diagnoses, substance use disorders, health services, and mortality among 9751 HIV-infected patients (≥14 years old) in a large, private medical care program, in a retrospective cohort design over a 12-year period. All study data were extracted from computerized clinical and administrative databases. Results showed that 25.4% (n = 2472) of the 9751 study subjects had received a psychiatric diagnosis (81.1% had major depression, 17.1% had panic disorder, 14.2% had bipolar disorder, and 8.1% had anorexia/bulimia); and 25.5% (n = 2489) had been diagnosed with substance use disorder; 1180 (12.1%) patients had received both psychiatric and substance diagnoses. In comparison to patients with neither a psychiatric diagnosis nor a SU diagnosis, the highest risk of death was found among patients with dual psychiatric and substance use diagnoses who had no psychiatric treatment visits and no substance treatment (relative hazards [RH] = 4.17, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.35 to 7.40). Among dually diagnosed patients, receiving psychiatric and/or substance use disorder treatment somewhat reduced the risk of death compared to patients with neither diagnosis. The lowest risks of death were observed among patients with a single diagnosis who had received corresponding treatment. Our study findings suggest that screening for psychiatric and substance problems at the initiation and during the course of HIV/AIDS treatment and providing psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment may extend life for these vulnerable patients.
    AIDS patient care and STDs 10/2010; 24(11):705-12. · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This document reports the consensus of an interdisciplinary panel of research and clinical experts charged with reviewing the use of opioids for chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) and formulating guidelines for future research. Prescribing opioids for chronic noncancer pain has recently escalated in the United States. Contrasting with increasing opioid use are: 1) The lack of evidence supporting long-term effectiveness; 2) Escalating misuse of prescription opioids including abuse and diversion; and 3) Uncertainty about the incidence and clinical salience of multiple, poorly characterized adverse drug events (ADEs) including endocrine dysfunction, immunosuppression and infectious disease, opioid-induced hyperalgesia and xerostomia, overdose, falls and fractures, and psychosocial complications. Chief among the limitations of current evidence are: 1) Sparse evidence on long-term opioid effectiveness in chronic pain patients due to the short-term time frame of clinical trials; 2) Insufficiently comprehensive outcome assessment; and 3) Incomplete identification and quantification of ADEs. The panel called for a strategic interdisciplinary approach to the problem domain in which basic scientists and clinicians cooperate to resolve urgent issues and generate a comprehensive evidence base. It offered 4 recommendations in 3 areas: 1) A research strategy for studying the effectiveness of long-term opioid pharmacotherapy; 2) Improvements in evidence-generation methodology; and 3) Potential research topics for generating new evidence. PERSPECTIVE: Prescribing opioids for CNCP has outpaced the growth of scientific evidence bearing on the benefits and harms of these interventions. The need for a strong evidence base is urgent. This guideline offers a strategic approach to creating a comprehensive evidence base to guide safe and effective management of CNCP.
    The journal of pain: official journal of the American Pain Society 09/2010; 11(9):807-29. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic diseases and injuries are elevated among people with substance use problems/dependence, yet heavier drinkers use fewer routine and preventive health services than non-drinkers and moderate drinkers, while former drinkers and abstainers use more than moderate drinkers. Researchers hypothesize that drinking clusters with attitudes and practices that produce better health among moderate drinkers and that heavy drinkers avoid doctors until becoming ill, subsequently quitting and using more services. Gender differences in alcohol consumption, health-related attitudes, practices, and prevention-services use may affect these relationships. A stratified random sample of health-plan members (7884; 2995 males, 4889 females) completed a mail survey that was linked to 24 months of health-plan records. Data were used to examine relationships between alcohol use, gender, health-related attitudes/practices, health, and prevention-service use. Controlling for attitudes, practices, and health, female lifelong abstainers and former drinkers were less likely to have mammograms; individuals with alcohol use disorders and positive AUDIT scores were less likely to obtain influenza vaccinations. AUDIT-positive women were less likely to undergo colorectal screening than AUDIT-positive men. Consistent predictors of prevention-services use were: self-report of having a primary care provider (positive); disliking visiting the doctor (negative); smoking cigarettes (negative), and higher BMI (negative). When factors associated with drinking are controlled, patterns of alcohol consumption have limited effects on preventive service use. Individuals with stigmatized behaviors (e.g., hazardous/harmful drinking, smoking, or high BMIs) are less likely to receive care. Making care experiences positive and carefully addressing stigmatized health practices could increase preventive service use.
    Addiction Research and Theory 07/2010; 18(2):143-159. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Despite considerable research, relationships among gender, alcohol consumption, and health remain controversial, due to potential confounding by health-related attitudes and practices associated with drinking, measurement challenges, and marked gender differences in drinking. We examined gender/alcohol consumption differences in health-related attitudes and practices, and evaluated how these factors affected relationships among gender, alcohol consumption, and health status. A stratified random sample of adult health-plan members completed a mail survey, yielding 7884 respondents (2995 male/4889 female). Using MANCOVAs and adjusting for health-related attitudes, values, and practices, we examined gender differences in relationships between alcohol consumption and health. More frequent heavy drinking was associated with worse health-related attitudes and values, worse feelings about visiting the doctor, and worse health-related practices. Relationships between health-related practices and alcohol use differed by gender, and daily or almost daily heavy drinking was associated with significantly lower physical and mental health for women compared to men. Drinking status (lifelong abstainers, former drinkers, and level of regular alcohol consumption) was related to health status and vitality, even after adjusting for health-related attitudes, values, and practices. Relationships did not differ by gender. Former drinkers reported lower physical and mental health status than either lifelong abstainers or current drinkers. Drinking status is independently related to physical health, mental health, and vitality, even after controlling for the health-related attitudes, values, and practices expected to confound these relationships. Among current drinkers, women who engage in very frequent heavy drinking have worse physical and mental health than their male counterparts.
    Addiction Research and Theory 04/2010; 18(2):122-142. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term opioid therapy for chronic noncancer pain is becoming increasingly common in community practice. Concomitant with this change in practice, rates of fatal opioid overdose have increased. The extent to which overdose risks are elevated among patients receiving medically prescribed long-term opioid therapy is unknown. To estimate rates of opioid overdose and their association with an average prescribed daily opioid dose among patients receiving medically prescribed, long-term opioid therapy. Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate overdose risk as a function of average daily opioid dose (morphine equivalents) received at the time of overdose. HMO. 9940 persons who received 3 or more opioid prescriptions within 90 days for chronic noncancer pain between 1997 and 2005. Average daily opioid dose over the previous 90 days from automated pharmacy data. Primary outcomes--nonfatal and fatal overdoses--were identified through diagnostic codes from inpatient and outpatient care and death certificates and were confirmed by medical record review. 51 opioid-related overdoses were identified, including 6 deaths. Compared with patients receiving 1 to 20 mg/d of opioids (0.2% annual overdose rate), patients receiving 50 to 99 mg/d had a 3.7-fold increase in overdose risk (95% CI, 1.5 to 9.5) and a 0.7% annual overdose rate. Patients receiving 100 mg/d or more had an 8.9-fold increase in overdose risk (CI, 4.0 to 19.7) and a 1.8% annual overdose rate. Increased overdose risk among patients receiving higher dose regimens may be due to confounding by patient differences and by use of opioids in ways not intended by prescribing physicians. The small number of overdoses in the study cohort is also a limitation. Patients receiving higher doses of prescribed opioids are at increased risk for overdose, which underscores the need for close supervision of these patients. National Institute of Drug Abuse.
    Annals of internal medicine 01/2010; 152(2):85-92. · 13.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inability to predict most health services use and costs using demographics and health status suggests that other factors affect use, including attitudes and practices that influence health and willingness to seek care. Alcohol consumption has generated interest because heavy, chronic consumption causes adverse health consequences, acute consumption increases injury, and moderate drinking is linked to better health while hazardous drinking and alcohol-related problems are stigmatized and may affect willingness to seek care. A stratified random sample of health-plan members completed a mail survey, yielding 7884 respondents (2995 male/4889 female). We linked survey data to 24 months of health-plan records to examine relationships between alcohol use, gender, health-related attitudes, practices, health, and service use. In-depth interviews with a stratified 150-respondent subsample explored individuals' reasons for seeking or avoiding care. Quantitative results suggest health-related practices and attitudes predict subsequent service use. Consistent predictors of care were having quit drinking, current at-risk consumption, cigarette smoking, higher BMI, disliking visiting doctors, and strong religious/spiritual beliefs. Qualitative analyses suggest embarrassment and shame are strong motivators for avoiding care. Although models included numerous health, functional status, attitudinal and behavioral predictors, variance explained was similar to previous reports, suggesting more complex relationships than expected. Qualitative analyses suggest several potential predictive factors not typically measured in service-use studies: embarrassment and shame, fear, faith that the body will heal, expectations about likelihood of becoming seriously ill, disliking the care process, the need to understand health problems, and the effects of self-assessments of health-related functional limitations.
    Addiction Research and Theory 01/2010; 18(2):160-180. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Research has identified a wide range of health conditions related to alcohol and drug use in studies conducted primarily in developed countries and in populations with severe alcohol and drug problems. Little is known about medical conditions in those with less severe alcohol and drug use in developing countries. We used WHO AUDIT and ASSIST screeners to identify hazardous drinking or drug use in public health clinics in Cape Town, South Africa, and included questions about doctor-diagnosed medical conditions. Using logistic regression we examined the relationship of medical conditions to hazardous alcohol, drug and tobacco use. Those with hazardous substance use had higher prevalence of many health conditions including tuberculosis. Hepatitis B, migraine, chronic bronchitis, and liver cirrhosis. Optimal treatment for some medical conditions may include treatment of underlying hazardous substance use, particularly use of drugs other than alcohol. In these populations, access to substance use treatment is limited and even brief interventions or advice may be useful.
    Journal of drug issues 10/2009; 39(4). · 0.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term opioid therapy for non-cancer pain has increased. Caution is advised in prescribing for persons with substance use disorders, but little is known about actual health plan practices. This paper reports trends and characteristics of long-term opioid use in persons with non-cancer pain and a substance abuse history. Using health plan data (1997-2005), the study compared age-sex-standardized rates of incident, incident long-term and prevalent long-term prescription opioid use, and medication use profiles in those with and without substance use disorder histories. The CONsortium to Study Opioid Risks and Trends study included adult enrollees of two health plans, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California (KPNC) and Group Health Cooperative (GH) of Seattle, Washington. At KPNC (1999-2005), prevalence of long-term use increased from 11.6% to 17.0% for those with substance use disorder histories and from 2.6% to 3.9% for those without substance use disorder histories. Respective GH rates (1997-2005), increased from 7.6% to 18.6% and from 2.7% to 4.2%. Among persons with an opioid disorder, KPNC rates increased from 44.1% to 51.1%, and GH rates increased from 15.7% to 52.4%. Long-term opioid users with a prior substance abuse diagnosis received higher dosage levels, were more likely to use Schedule II and long-acting opioids, and were more often frequent users of sedative-hypnotic medications in addition to their opioid use. Since these patients are viewed as higher risk, the increased use of long-term opioid therapy suggests the importance of improved understanding of the benefits and risks of opioid therapy among persons with a history of substance abuse, and the need for more careful screening for substance abuse history than is the usual practice.
    Pain 08/2009; 145(3):287-93. · 5.64 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

713 Citations
94.87 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • Department of Psychiatry
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2000–2014
    • Kaiser Permanente
      Oakland, California, United States
  • 2010–2012
    • CSU Mentor
      Long Beach, California, United States
    • University of Utah
      • Department of Anesthesiology
      Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Cape Town
      • Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health
      Cape Town, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa
    • University of Miami
      • Department of Sociology
      Coral Gables, FL, United States
  • 2005
    • Alcohol Research Group
      Emeryville, California, United States