Improving screening, treatment, and intervention for unhealthy alcohol use in primary care through clinic, practice-based research network, and health plan partnerships: Protocol of the ANTECEDENT study

PLoS One. 2022 Jun 28;17(6):e0269635. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0269635. eCollection 2022.


Background: Unhealthy alcohol use (UAU) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, contributing to 95,000 deaths annually. When offered in primary care, screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment (SBIRT), and medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder (MAUD) can effectively address UAU. However, these interventions are not yet routine in primary care clinics. Therefore, our study evaluates tailored implementation support to increase SBIRT and MAUD in primary care.

Methods: ANTECEDENT is a pragmatic implementation study designed to support 150 primary care clinics in Oregon adopting and optimizing SBIRT and MAUD workflows to address UAU. The study is a partnership between the Oregon Health Authority Transformation Center-state leaders in Medicaid health system transformation-SBIRT Oregon and the Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network. We recruited clinics providing primary care in Oregon and prioritized reaching clinics that were small to medium in size (<10 providers). All participating clinics receive foundational support (i.e., a baseline assessment, exit assessment, and access to the online SBIRT Oregon materials) and may opt to receive tailored implementation support delivered by a practice facilitator over 12 months. Tailored implementation support is designed to address identified needs and may include health information technology support, peer-to-peer learning, workflow mapping, or expert consultation via academic detailing. The study aims are to 1) engage, recruit, and conduct needs assessments with 150 primary care clinics and their regional Medicaid health plans called Coordinated Care Organizations within the state of Oregon, 2) implement and evaluate the impact of foundational and supplemental implementation support on clinic change in SBIRT and MAUD, and 3) describe how practice facilitators tailor implementation support based on context and personal expertise. Our convergent parallel mixed-methods analysis uses RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance). It is informed by a hybrid of the i-PARIHS (integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services) and the Dynamic Sustainability Framework.

Discussion: This study will explore how primary care clinics implement SBIRT and MAUD in routine practice and how practice facilitators vary implementation support across diverse clinic settings. Findings will inform how to effectively align implementation support to context, advance our understanding of practice facilitator skill development over time, and ultimately improve detection and treatment of UAU across diverse primary care clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities*
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Health Planning
  • Primary Health Care
  • United States

Grants and funding

MMD and JPM were awarded funding for this study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (, Grant Award Number 1R18HS027080-01. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funders. The funders will not have a role in study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or manuscript preparation.