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Alcohol Alcohol. 2005 Nov-Dec;40(6):520-3.

Use of laboratory markers and the audit questionnaire by primary care physicians to detect alcohol abuse by patients.

Author information

1
National Public Health Institute, PO Box 33, FIN-00251 Helsinki, Finland. mauri.aalto@ktl.fi

Abstract

AIMS:

To evaluate how often laboratory markers [Mean corpuscular volume (MCV), Gamma-glutamyl transferase, Aspartate aminotransferase, Alanine aminotransferase, or Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT)] and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) are used to detect alcohol abuse in primary health care.

METHODS:

Cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire survey to all 3193 primary health care physicians in Finland. Response rate was (65.7%).

RESULTS:

CDT was used at least occasionally by 43.4% of the physicians. Corresponding figures were 53.4% for conventional alcohol laboratory markers (MCV, transaminases) and 67.0% for AUDIT. Almost all the respondents used some laboratory marker to detect alcohol abuse. The use of brief alcohol intervention was associated with the greater likelihood that a physician uses different methods to detect alcohol abuse. The data also indicates that gender, age, and having a specialist licence influence activity in using different methods.

CONCLUSIONS:

Considering the ambivalences in relation to alcohol issues in health care, the use of CDT and AUDIT are reasonably frequent. This may indicate that tools to facilitate the work may also help in adapting new activities.

PMID:
16215269
DOI:
10.1093/alcalc/agh219
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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