Usefulness, length and content of alcohol-related discussions in primary health care: the exit poll survey

Alcohol Alcohol. Nov-Dec 2004;39(6):532-5. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agh090. Epub 2004 Sep 6.


Aims: To evaluate patients' opinions of the usefulness of alcohol-related discussions with general practitioners (GPs), the time used for the discussion and its main content.

Methods: Exit poll survey to 2000 consecutive patients right after GP consultations.

Results: The response rate was 60.2% (1203/2000). Of the patients 11.6% (139/1203) reported that they were asked and/or advised about alcohol during the consultation. The time used for discussion about alcohol was mostly <4 min; longer for heavy than for non-heavy drinkers. Main topics of the discussion dealt with quantities consumed and harm caused by alcohol. The majority of the patients (81%) reported that discussions concerning alcohol were useful. In that respect heavy drinkers did not differ from non-heavy drinkers.

Conclusions: Discussions about alcohol in primary health care were rare and short, but patients' opinions about their usefulness were mainly positive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires