Homeless Women and Hazardous Drinking: Screening Results in a Primary Health Care Setting

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Background and Objectives:Screening for alcohol use in primary care is underutilized, especially for women. The current study implemented systematic women's alcohol use screening in a health care for the homeless primary care program.Methods:All women (n = 541) seeking care over 12 months were screened.Results:Of the 541 screening forms returned, 80 women refused to answer the alcohol use questions. Of 461 completed screens, over 40% reported no alcohol use, while 43.8% reported hazardous drinking. Hazardous drinking was significantly associated with younger age, African American race, and living on the street or in a shelter.Discussion and Conclusions:High rates of drinking were identified among women in different housing situations and use of systematic screening was beneficial to providers.Scientific Significance and Future Directions:Health care settings are important sites to identify hazardous drinking as well as alcohol disorders among women with unstable housing histories. The growing integration of behavioral health care into primary care, and the medical home concept, both provide opportunities for brief interventions for at-risk drinkers, as well as treatment options for those with alcohol use disorders that may be particularly appealing to women. Findings support further investigation of the relationship of housing stability to drinking, and suggest African American women may need special attention. (Am J Addict 2014;23:117–122)

    loading  Loading Related Articles