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J Nurs Educ. 2016 Apr;55(4):231-5. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20160316-10.

If You Teach It, They Will Screen: Advanced Practice Nursing Students' Use of Screening and Brief Intervention in the Clinical Setting.



In the United States, approximately 30% of adults drink at risky levels or meet the criteria for harmful or dependent alcohol use. Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) in primary care settings is indicated. This study assessed whether knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about SBIRT, evaluated after a three-part, mixed-methods training, predicted whether 21 family nurse practitioner (FNP) students screened for alcohol use during clinical patient encounters.


After training, students completed a survey and documented implementation of SBIRT during their clinical practice-specific management courses.


FNP students who reported higher levels of perceived competence in their posttraining surveys were more likely to screen for alcohol in the clinical setting.


Screening for alcohol misuse and identifying patients engaged in hazardous drinking meet important nurse practitioner competencies. Further research is needed to explore training programs that specifically emphasize activities to increase perceived competence, knowledge, and comfort regarding SBIRT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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