Putting the Screen in Screening: Technology-Based Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions in Medical Settings

Alcohol Res. 2014;36(1):63-79.

Abstract

Alcohol is strongly linked to the leading causes of adolescent and adult mortality and health problems, making medical settings such as primary care and emergency departments important venues for addressing alcohol use. Extensive research evidence supports the effectiveness of alcohol screening and brief interventions (SBIs) in medical settings, but this valuable strategy remains underused, with medical staff citing lack of time and training as major implementation barriers. Technology-based tools may offer a way to improve efficiency and quality of SBI delivery in such settings. This review describes the latest research examining the feasibility and efficacy of computer- or other technology-based alcohol SBI tools in medical settings, as they relate to the following three patient populations: adults (18 years or older); pregnant women; and adolescents (17 years or younger).The small but growing evidence base generally shows strong feasibility and acceptability of technology-based SBI in medical settings. However, evidence for effectiveness in changing alcohol use is limited in this young field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis*
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Medical Informatics Applications*
  • Pregnancy