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Integration and sustainability of alcohol screening, brief intervention, and pharmacotherapy in primary care settings

Steven M. Ornstein, Peter M. Miller, Andrea M. Wessell, Ruth G. Jenkins, Lynne S. Nemeth, Paul J. Nietert

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 2013, Volume 74, pages 598–604

Editor's comment:
The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a practice-based quality improvement approach on alcohol screening, brief interventions (SBI) and use of medication for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in adult patients with diagnoses of hypertension and/or diabetes, two conditions which are especially sensitive to alcohol. This approach (PPRNet-TRIP) combines audit and feedback, practice site visits for academic detailing and participatory planning, and network meetings to share “best practice” approaches. The study results showed that a more intensive intervention is more effective than passive dissemination of guidelines, electronic health record tools, and audit and feedback on alcohol SBI and use of medications for AUDs, and that its impact is sustained for at least 1 year after it ends. A third finding of the study was that adoption of prescribing medications for AUDs occurs more slowly than SBI. The authors conclude that the PPRNet-TRIP model is effective in improving and maintaining improvement in alcohol screening and brief intervention for patients with diabetes and/or hypertension in primary care settings.

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