Two Questions to Predict Alcoholism: They Can Save the Life of Your Loved Ones
A study published in the British Journal of General Practice revealed that drinking problems, which often go unnoticed in primary care, can be identified by asking patients two simple questions.
The two questions are: “How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?” and “As a result of your drinking, did anything happen in the last year that you wish didn't happen?”
According to a Science Daily report, the study, which was conducted by the University of Leicester, stated that the patients’ answers could reveal drinking problems, especially “excessive or unsafe drinking habits.”
“There is great time pressure in primary care. GPs don't have the time to ask a long list of questions for every single patient. The shorter the survey, the more acceptable it is for GP, but the greater the danger that it is inaccurate,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Alex Mitchell.
“Our work shows that asking just two questions to patients works modestly well, but they need to be followed up by a longer questionnaire of four questions in those who initially screen positive,” Mitchell said.
“At the moment, GPs ask patients about alcohol problems during about 3 percent of consultations. Routine screening using simple questions are an attempt to improve the situation. The evidence suggests that starting with two questions and then proceeding to either the [longer] CAGE or AUDIT surveys would be the best way to go,” he added.
The new findings will save health care professionals time in screening patients, not to mention a high level of accuracy in identifying people with alcohol problems who do not need an intervention.
Dr. Mitchell and his team of researchers examined 17 earlier studies focused on finding the effectiveness of simple questions in determining alcohol abuse in over 5646 individuals.
The researchers found that asking the said questions could correctly determine patients with alcohol problems in 87.2 percent of the cases, and those without in 79.8 percent of cases.
They also found that combined with a longer survey, the two-question survey successfully identified alcoholic patients in 90.9 percent of the cases.
The Santa Ana company, which has entered a number of licensing and distribution agreements with addiction facilities across the United States, has seen tremendous success from its Start Fresh Program.
Its biodegradable Naltrexone implant product, which makes up tier one of the program, has been touted by patients and health care practitioners for its effectiveness in preventing alcoholics from wanting to touch a bottle of alcohol ever again.
Naltrexone is an antagonist drug that prevents alcoholics from experiencing “pleasure feelings” from drinking alcohol. It is also being used to curb opioid addicts’ physical cravings.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.