Home > Two questions could ID problem drinkers.

[irishhealth.com] , Condon, Deborah Two questions could ID problem drinkers. (08 Jul 2014)

External website: http://www.irishhealth.com/article.html?id=23834

GPs could quickly uncover which of their patients have drink problems by asking them just two simple questions, new research from the UK suggests.

According to doctors at the University of Leicester, alcohol problems often go undetected in primary care as GPs may not have time to screen all of their patients. Standard screening tests can simply be too time consuming to administer to every patient who attends for a consultation.

The researchers analysed 17 studies involving over 5,600 patients to assess the effectiveness of asking simple questions in order to detect drinking problems.

They found that asking just two simple questions correctly identified patients with drinking problems in 87% of cases, and correctly identified patients who did not have a drinking problem in almost 80% of cases.

The two questions were ‘how often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?' and ‘as a result of your drinking, did anything happen in the last year that you wish didn't happen?'

If the patient's answer to these questions gave cause for concern, GPs were recommended to carry out a longer screening test, such as AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), which is made up of 10 questions.

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