Aims: To determine if GPs' attitudes towards working with drinkers moderated the impact that training and support had on screening and brief intervention activity in routine practice.
Methods: Subjects were 340 GPs from four countries who were part of a World Health Organization randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of training and support in increasing screening and brief alcohol intervention. GPs' self-reported attitudes towards working with drinkers were measured with the Shortened Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire.
Results: Whereas training and support increased GPs' screening and brief intervention rates, it did so only for practitioners who already felt secure and committed in working with drinkers. Training and support did not improve attitudes towards working with drinkers and, moreover, worsened the attitudes of those who were already insecure and uncommitted.
Conclusions: To enhance the involvement of GPs in the management of alcohol problems, interventions that increase both actual experience and address practitioners' attitudes is required. Such support could take the form of on-site support agents and facilitators.