Objective: To assess the impact of a brief training program on primary care providers' skills, attitudes, and knowledge regarding high-risk and problem drinking.
Design: Training plus pretesting and posttesting for program efficacy.
Setting: Ambulatory primary care clinic; academic medical center.
Participants: Fourteen attending physicians, 12 residents, and 5 nurse practitioners were randomized by clinical team affiliation to a Special Intervention or usual care condition of a larger study. We report the results of the training program for the Special Intervention providers.
Intervention: Providers received a 2-hour group training session plus a 10- to 20-minute individual tutorial session 2 to 6 weeks after the group session. The training focused on teaching providers how to perform patient-centered counseling for high-risk and problem drinkers.
Main outcome measures: Alcohol counseling skills; attitudes regarding preparedness to intervene and perceived importance and usefulness of intervening with high-risk and problem drinkers; and knowledge of the nature, prevalence, and appropriate treatment of alcohol abuse in primary care populations.
Results: After training, providers scored significantly higher on measures of counseling skills, preparedness to intervene, perceived usefulness and importance of intervening, and knowledge.
Conclusion: A group training program plus brief individual feedback can significantly improve primary care providers' counseling skills, attitudes, and knowledge regarding high-risk and problem drinkers.