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Parents comfortable with alcohol screening in pediatricians' offices
Date:11/2/2008

WASHINGTON, DC, November 3, 2008 Parents are surprisingly receptive to being screened for alcohol problems during a visit to their child's pediatrician, including those who have alcohol problems. And if they need help, many parents would look to their pediatrician for a referral, according to a new study in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

"This is a surprising and important finding," said lead author and pediatrician Celeste Wilson, MD, of Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. "It appears that in the context of their children receiving care by a trusted health care provider, parents are receptive to interventions that can ultimately keep their children safe." The study was funded by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program (SAPRP) of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized the child health care visit as an ideal venue to address the family history and attitudes around alcohol use, as well as the opportunity to discuss with parents the influence of role modeling on their children. But until now, there was little information about how parents would react if asked about their use of alcohol. Wilson said the results of the study should reassure pediatricians who were concerned that parents would resist inquiries regarding their alcohol use.

Researchers surveyed three different pediatric primary care clinic sites, (two in Massachusetts and one in Vermont) in urban, suburban, and rural areas, to create a diverse socio-economic and racially mixed group of over one thousand study participants.

The parents or caregivers were given questionnaires (filled out anonymously) that screened for alcohol problems. The questionnaires also assessed their preferences for who should perform the alcohol screening, their acceptance of screening through the pediatrician's office, and preferred interventions if the screening indicated problems.

The majority of participa
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Contact: Carol Lin Vieira
cvieira@burnesscommunications.com
401-714-0821
Burness Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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