Residents' Knowledge of Standard Drink Equivalents: Implications for Screening and Brief Intervention for At-Risk Alcohol Use

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Background and Objectives:Screening and brief intervention for reducing alcohol consumption has been demonstrated to be effective in various medical settings. The NIAAA has recommended that physicians screen all patients for at-risk and problem drinking. Often, screening is based on the concept of a “standard drink.”Methods:We administered a survey to residents (N = 270) in order to assess their knowledge of standard drink equivalents and quantities of alcohol in various sizes of bottles.Results:Although 89% of the responders stated that they had previously learned about screening for at-risk alcohol use, the majority did not know basic facts about standard drink equivalents.Discussion and Conclusions:Many trainees are not familiar with typical standard drink equivalents. This can have a significant impact on the screening of patients for problem drinking using screening tools that rely on standard drink equivalents. (Am J Addict 2014;23:194–196)

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