Utilizing an Evidence-Based Alcohol Screening Tool for Identification of Alcohol Misuse

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Abstract

Background:

Alcohol misuse is prevalent among college students and negatively affects their health, relationships, and academics. Alcohol misuse screening for this age group is advised but often overlooked.

Objective:

The aim of this study was to implement an evidence-based alcohol screening tool, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption, at a southern university health clinic.

Methods:

This quality improvement project used a preintervention/postintervention, mixed-methods design. A survey containing the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption screening tool is used to identify students with alcohol misuse who are then offered education and follow-up. Students who were found to misuse alcohol were retested 1 month later. Qualitative comments were also gathered about the success of the project.

Results:

Alcohol misuse at this location is high and usually missed during the student health encounter. Screening and identification of alcohol misuse were increased. The follow-up survey showed a reduced number of students misusing alcohol.

Conclusion:

Alcohol screening and treatment in a university health setting may result in decreased alcohol-related problems. The potential to improve student outcomes at other colleges and universities should be considered.

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