QUERI – Quality Enhancement Research Initiative

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Brief Alcohol Counseling for Alcohol Misuse

Most patients who screen positive for alcohol misuse do not have alcohol dependence.  These non-dependent patients may be offered brief alcohol counseling in the primary care setting.

Brief alcohol counseling refers to a spectrum of patient-centered interventions, lasting 5 to 20 minutes for one or more visits and typically includes the following:

  • Concern  expressed to patient
  • Feedback regarding drinking
  • Explicit advice to cut down
  • View examples

In the past decade, nine systematic literature reviews have concluded that brief alcohol counseling decreases drinking in primary care patients with alcohol misuse.

Additionally, several studies of patients with alcohol misuse who had brief intervention showed decreases in systolic blood pressure, serum GGT and health care utilization.

Alcohol Assessment Tools

Brief Counseling Information for Providers

Alcohol Clinical Reminder Examples

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