Description: Update of the 2004 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation statement on screening and behavioral counseling interventions in primary care to reduce alcohol misuse.
Methods: The USPSTF reviewed new evidence on the effectiveness of screening for alcohol misuse for improving health outcomes, the accuracy of various screening approaches, the effectiveness of various behavioral counseling interventions for improving intermediate or long-term health outcomes, the harms of screening and behavioral counseling interventions, and influences from the health care system that promote or detract from effective screening and counseling interventions for alcohol misuse.
Population: These recommendations apply to adolescents aged 12 to 17 years and adults aged 18 years or older. These recommendations do not apply to persons who are actively seeking evaluation or treatment of alcohol misuse.
Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen adults aged 18 years or older for alcohol misuse and provide persons engaged in risky or hazardous drinking with brief behavioral counseling interventions to reduce alcohol misuse. (Grade B recommendation)The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening and behavioral counseling interventions in primary care settings to reduce alcohol misuse in adolescents. (I statement)