Patients’ Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Regular Alcohol Urine Screening: A Survey Study

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Abstract

Background:

Despite its wide implementation, there is a paucity of data supporting the effectiveness of regular alcohol urine screening (RAUS) in maintaining abstinence. This study aims at investigating if RAUS serves other purposes, what attitudes patients display towards it, and patients’ technical knowledge about basic screening notions.

Method:

We conducted a cross-sectional survey among adults with alcohol dependence, attending outpatient alcohol-dependence treatment. It aimed at investigating patients’ attitudes and beliefs towards RAUS, and technical notions of alcohol urine screening. For attitude assessment, we adapted the Drug Attitude Inventory (DAI-10) to the field of alcohol urine screening. Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and concurrent validity were evaluated for the adapted questionnaire.

Results:

In all, 128 patients completed the questionnaire. Patients rated RAUS as high. The DAI-10 mean score was 7.2 (SD = 3.6). Internal consistency analysis revealed a Cronbach alpha of 0.718. Test-retest reliability evaluation yielded an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.932. The score of a single Likert-type question about overall perceived value was 8.5 (SD = 2). Their correlation with mean DAI-10 score was of r = 0.254, with P = 0.009. Apart from relapse prevention, patients frequently reported other functions such as showing professionals and family members that they do not drink, or having a closer contact with professionals. A majority of patients believed alcohol use goes undetected after 48 hours from last ingestion.

Conclusion:

Regular alcohol screening is highly valued by alcohol outpatients. It seems that apart from relapse prevention, other functions related to therapeutic alliance building, social desirability, and impression management also play a key role.

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