Screening for alcohol use in primary care: assessing French general practitioner practices

Publié le 10 octobre 2023
Mis à jour le 16 janvier 2024

Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for premature death and disability. To tackle this issue, more systematic and accurate screening for at-risk consumption is needed in healthcare systems, especially by general practitioners (GPs). We assessed the frequency of at-risk consumption screening by GPs in France. We also identified characteristics associated with more frequent screening and greater use of validated screening tools by these healthcare providers. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a representative sample of French GPs. Multinomial logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with more frequent screening and greater use of validated screening tools. Response rate was of 73%. Of the 2412 participants, 42.8% screened all their patients systematically and repeatedly, while 48.0% never used standardized tools to screen potentially at-risk patients. Among other characteristics, being aware of and using the "early identification and brief intervention" screening strategy, and feeling absolutely comfortable talking with patients about reducing or stopping their alcohol use, were both associated with more frequent screening and use of standardized tools. Our results on at-risk alcohol use screening highlight an improvement over data from previous studies. Nevertheless, better training of French GPs in good alcohol screening practices-specifically, increased screening frequency and greater use of standardized tools-may improve identification of at-risk patients.

Auteur : Barré Tangui, Di Beo Vincent, Roux Perrine, Mourad Abbas, Verger Pierre, Fressard Lisa, Herault Thomas, Buyck Jean-François, Beck François, Carrieri Patrizia
Alcohol and alcoholism, 2023, vol. 58, n°. 6, p. 672-682