Alcohol misuse in the general hospital: some hard facts

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Aims

To examine (1) the prevalence of alcohol use disorders in adult general hospital inpatients; (2) the accuracy of documentation in relation to alcohol use.

Methods

A total of 210 random patients were interviewed out of 1,448 consecutive new admissions to CUH over 7 days. Case notes were reviewed for 206 (98%). Alcohol consumption was assessed using the Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST) and weekly drinking diary. FAST-positive (and a random sample of FAST-negative) patients then had a standardized interview.

Results

A total of 82% admitted for drinking alcohol. Among them 22% were drinking in excess of guidelines, 9% had DSM-IV Alcohol Abuse and 7% dependence. The sensitivity and specificity of the FAST for detecting those drinking above guidelines were 89 and 94% and for detecting a DSM-IV diagnosis was 100 and 73%. The majority of case notes contained inadequate information about alcohol intake.

Conclusion

Alcohol use disorders are common and often undetected in the general hospital setting.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles