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Int J STD AIDS. 2012 Aug;23(8):585-8. doi: 10.1258/ijsa.2011.011142.

Screening for hazardous alcohol consumption in a sexual health clinic: a service evaluation.

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Department of Genitourinary Medicine, Whittall Street Clinic, Whittall Street, Birmingham B4 6DH.


On the basis of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance we conducted a survey in a sexual health clinic to assess acceptability of an alcohol screening questionnaire, rates of hazardous drinking and success of referral to a specialist alcohol service (Aquarius). Seventy-two percent of patients accepted the offer of screening, of whom 34% were hazardous drinkers; 2.6% consented to referral to Aquarius but failed to attend. We estimate the cost range to screen and deliver a five-minute brief intervention at £3.62-£9.19 per case. Opportunistic alcohol screening identifies high rates of hazardous drinkers and is acceptable to patients, but onward referral by untrained staff to an external specialist alcohol service is unsatisfactory to patients. Research into the cost-effectiveness of screening and delivery of brief interventions within sexual health clinics is required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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