Navigation Links
Doctors Often Miss Signs of Problem Drinking in Patients, Study Finds
Date:1/15/2013

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Doctors fail to diagnose most patients with alcohol problems when they rely solely on their suspicions, rather than using proven screening methods, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at almost 1,700 patients, and found that about 14 percent screened positive for hazardous or harmful drinking.

Primary care doctors had suspected hazardous or harmful drinking in just 5 percent of the patients, however. And of those patients, less than two-thirds actually screened positive for a drinking problem.

In other words, the primary care doctors failed to diagnose more than 70 percent of patients with drinking problems when they relied on their suspicions rather than using screening tools, the authors reported.

According to the team, led by Dr. Daniel Vinson of the University of Missouri, the findings support the routine use of screening tools to supplement doctors' suspicions that a patient may have a drinking problem.

Two experts not connected to the study had divergent views on the findings.

Bruce Goldman is director of Substance Abuse Services at the Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y. He noted that, "high-risk drinking is a major contributor to preventable health and social problems," and primary care doctors "are uniquely positioned to screen and assess all patients' patterns of alcohol and drug use."

He agreed with the study authors that, "a few standardized screening questions, consistently asked of all patients, could quickly identify those who would benefit from either education or referral to specialized care."

But another expert said that's easier said than done in real-world settings.

Dr. Neil Calman, chairman of family medicine and community health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City, agreed that validated screening methods undoubtedly beat doctors' suspicions in uncovering problem drinking in patients.

He added, however, that it's tougher to discern how well they might be incorporated into physicians' everyday practice.

"First, most practices do not have the ability to deal with the conditions that are being detected," Calman noted. "Second, they identify many patients who do not choose to seek help for the detected issues and resources may be wasted on people who do not see the problem as something that needs to be addressed or that they want to have addressed."

Finally, Calman said, "we run the risk of keeping people out of care for other critical conditions, as patients may report that when they come in for an upper respiratory infection they do not want or expect to be asked about other issues which they consider highly personal and irrelevant to the reason for their visit."

As with many innovations in medicine, more research needs to be done on how to best deploy these screening methods into everyday clinical practice, Calman said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has more about alcohol use disorders.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Bruce Goldman, director, Substance Abuse Services, The Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y.; Neil Calman, M.D., professor and chairman, department of family medicine and community health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Annals of Family Medicine, news release, Jan. 14, 2013


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Better care from doctors who are culturally aware
2. U.S. Efforts to Boost Number of Primary Care Doctors Have Failed
3. DoctorSites (Websites for Doctors) Announce a New Scheduling Calendar Feature Available in 2013
4. Time Spent on Malpractice Suits May Take Toll on Doctors
5. US Drug Watchdog Now Fears Thousands Of Transvaginal Mesh, Tape Product Failure Victims Are Being Misinformed By Their Doctors-Erosion Is Not A Normal Outcome
6. Three Surgeons of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates Have Received the Prestigious 2013 Los Angeles SuperDoctors Award for the Second Year in a Row
7. Breastfeeding tips women share intrigue doctors
8. Virtual patient may help future doctors prevent suicide
9. Car Crashes Common for Sleepy Doctors in Training: Study
10. Doctors call for evidence-based appropriateness criteria for elective procedures
11. Doctors Advice People to Get Zoster Vaccine During Winters – VyGone Introduces Ultimate Zoster Vaccine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Doctors Often Miss Signs of Problem Drinking in Patients, Study Finds
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about the ... to develop to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in ... in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today ... Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & ... award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... Chapel, FL (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... is holding a treadmill relay – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the ... donating $300 or more. , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health Literacy ... Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices in ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by sharing ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Vohra Chief Medical Officer Dr. ... colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians at various events in ... , "At many of these conferences we get to educate other physicians, facility ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  True Health, a ... amplified its effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness ... cancer risks. ... Oncology calculated that more than 10 million American ... mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and have not had ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... --  Provista, a proven leader in the supply ... power, today announced a new resource area on Provistaco.com ... is the online home for case studies, articles on ... releases, slideshows and events. ... at their fingertips, viewers can also watch short videos ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017 ... of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced ... National Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de ... The first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated ... provides optimal access, illumination and exposure of a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: