Home > Comparison of brief interventions in primary care on smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: a population survey in England.

Brown, Jamie and West, Robert and Angus, Colin and Beard, Emma and Brennan, Alan and Drummond, Colin and Hickman, Matthew and Holmes, John and Kaner, Eileen and Michie, Susan . (2016) Comparison of brief interventions in primary care on smoking and excessive alcohol consumption: a population survey in England. London: Royal College of General Practitioners. The British Journal of General Practice, 66 (642)

URL: http://bjgp.org/content/66/642/e1

BACKGROUND: Brief interventions have a modest but meaningful effect on promoting smoking cessation and reducing excessive alcohol consumption. Guidelines recommend offering such advice opportunistically and regularly but incentives vary between the two behaviours.

AIM: To use representative data from the perspective of patients to compare the prevalence and characteristics of people who smoke or drink excessively and who receive a brief intervention.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Data was from a representative sample of 15 252 adults from household surveys in England.

METHOD: Recall of brief interventions on smoking and alcohol use, sociodemographic information, and smoking and alcohol consumption patterns were assessed among smokers and those who drink excessively (AUDIT score of ≥8), who visited their GP surgery in the previous year.

RESULTS: Of 1775 smokers, 50.4% recalled receiving brief advice on smoking in the previous year. Smokers receiving advice compared with those who did not were more likely to be older, female, have a disability, have made more quit attempts in the previous year (compared with no attempts: one attempt), and have greater nicotine dependence but were less likely to have no post-16 qualifications. Of 1110 people drinking excessively, 6.5% recalled receiving advice in their GP surgery on their alcohol consumption in the previous year. Those receiving advice compared with those who did not had higher AUDIT scores and were less likely to be female.

CONCLUSION: Whereas approximately half of smokers in England visiting their GP in the past year report having received advice on cessation, <10% of those who drink excessively report having received advice on their alcohol consumption.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Drug Type:Alcohol, Tobacco
Intervention Type:AOD disorder harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method
Date:January 2016
Page Range:e1-9
Publisher:Royal College of General Practitioners
Place of Publication:London
Volume:66
Number:642
EndNote:View
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
B Substances > Tobacco (cigarette smoking)
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method > Individual therapy > Brief intervention
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care programme or facility > Community-based treatment (primary care)
T Demographic characteristics > Doctor

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