Addictive Behaviors Volume 33, Issue 2, February 2008, Pages 301-314
To investigate the extent to which Swedish primary health care (PHC) general practitioners (GPs) and nurses discuss alcohol issues with their patients, their reasons for and against addressing alcohol issues, their perceived importance of these issues, and factors that could facilitate increased alcohol intervention activity among the PHC professionals.
Fifty percent of the GPs and 28% of the nurses stated that they “frequently” discussed alcohol with their patients. The two most common reasons for asking patients about their drinking were that the GPs and nurses considered it part of their routines and the belief that the patient had alcohol-related symptoms.
GPs said that improved opportunities for referral to specialists and provision of more knowledge about counselling techniques for use when alcohol-related symptoms are evident were the most important facilitators to increased intervention activity.
Concerning the nurses, 93% stated that more time devoted to health-oriented work could facilitate increased alcohol intervention activity.
The findings highlight a considerable gap between the recognition of the significance of the alcohol problem and Swedish PHC intervention activity.
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