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Home > Course and outcome of patients with alcohol use disorders following an alcohol intervention during hospital attendance: mixed method study.

Chambers, Sophia E and Baldwin, David S and Sinclair, Julia MA (2020) Course and outcome of patients with alcohol use disorders following an alcohol intervention during hospital attendance: mixed method study. BJPsych Open, 7, (1), e6.

External website: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/bjpsych-op...

BACKGROUND
Alcohol-related presentations to acute hospitals in the UK are increasing, but little is known of the clinical characteristics or natural history of this patient group.

AIMS
To describe the clinical characteristics, drinking profile and trajectory of a cohort of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) attending hospital, and explore participant perspectives of the impact of hospital attendance on their relationship with alcohol.

METHOD
We conducted a mixed method, prospective, observational cohort study of patients with AUD seen in an acute hospital. Participants were interviewed with a range of questionnaires at baseline and followed up on at 6 months. A subsample also completed in-depth qualitative interviews.

RESULTS
We recruited 141 patients; 132 (93.6%) were followed up at 6 months and 26 completed qualitative interviews. Of the 141 patients, 60 (42.6%) stated the index hospital episode included the first discussion of their alcohol use in a secondary care setting. Most rated discussion of their alcohol use in hospital as 'very positive' or 'positive' (102/141, 72.3%), but lack of coordinated care with community services undermined efforts to sustain change. At 6 months, 11 (7.8%) patients had died, but in those who survived and completed assessment (n = 121), significant and clinically meaningful improvements were seen across a range of outcomes, with 55 patients (45.5%) showing a favourable drinking outcome at 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS
Patients with AUD have high levels of morbidity and mortality, yet many made substantial changes following intervention in hospital for their alcohol use. Prospective trials need to identify the effect of alcohol care teams in optimising this 'teachable moment' for patients.


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