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Subst Abus. 2012;33(3):261-71. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2011.640187.

Skills-based residency training in alcohol screening and brief intervention: results from the Georgia-Texas "Improving Brief Intervention" Project.

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Department of Family Medicine, Medical Center of Central Georgia and Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia, USA.


Alcohol screening and brief intervention (SBI) is recommended for all primary care patients but is underutilized. This project trained 111 residents and faculty in 8 family medicine residencies to conduct SBI and implement SBI protocols in residency clinics, then assessed changes in self-reported importance and confidence in performing SBI and brief intervention (BI) rates. Clinicians reported significant increases in role security, confidence, and ability to help drinkers reduce drinking and decreased importance of factors that might dissuade them from performing SBI. Stage of change measures indicated 37% of clinicians progressed toward action or maintenance in performing SBI; however, numbers of reported BIs did not increase. At all time points, 33% to 36% of clinicians reported BIs with ≥10% of the last 50 patients. Future studies should focus on increasing intervention rates using more patient-centered BI approaches, quality improvement approaches, and systems changes that could increase opportunities for performing BIs.

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