Screening and Counseling for Alcohol Use in Adolescents With Chronic Medical Conditions in the Ambulatory Setting

J Adolesc Health. 2019 Jun;64(6):804-806. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2019.02.011.


Purpose: We seek to determine how youth with chronic medical conditions experience alcohol screening and counseling.

Methods: Adolescents with type I diabetes, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, moderate persistent asthma, cystic fibrosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or inflammatory bowel disease were surveyed. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis quantified rates of asking and counseling about alcohol.

Results: Of 390 participants (75.1% white/non-Hispanic, 51.8% female, average age 16.4 years), 70% reported being asked about their alcohol use by a healthcare provider, and 76% reported receiving at least one message regarding alcohol and health. Of past year drinkers, 54% disclosed use to their provider. Only 2.0% of youth reported receiving the message "I should not drink."

Conclusions: Most youth with chronic medical conditions were asked and counseled about alcohol use although few heard unambiguous recommendations to avoid alcohol consumption.

Keywords: Alcohol; Counseling; Screening; Youth with chronic conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Chronic Disease / therapy*
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Underage Drinking / prevention & control*