Provider training for patient-centered alcohol counseling in a primary care setting

Arch Intern Med. 1997 Nov 10;157(20):2334-41.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Counseling*
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurse Practitioners / education*
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Patient-Centered Care*