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Publication Detail
Comparison of brief interventions in primary care on smoking and excessive alcohol consumption in England: a population survey
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Brown J, West R, Angus C, Beard E, Brennan A, Drummond C, Hickman M, Holmes J, Kaner E, Michie S
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    British Journal of General Practice
Background: Brief interventions in primary care have a modest but clinically important effect in promoting smoking cessation and reducing excessive alcohol consumption. Clinical guidelines recommend offering such advice opportunistically on a regular basis but incentives for doing so vary between the two behaviours. Aim: To assess the extent recommendations on brief intervention on smoking and alcohol are being adhered to under different conditions and the characteristics of patients receiving this advice. Design and setting: Data were collected using monthly cross-sectional household surveys from a representative sample of 15252 adults in England between March and November 2014. Method: Recall of brief interventions on smoking and alcohol, socio-demographic information, and smoking and alcohol consumption patterns were assessed among smokers and excessive drinkers (AUDIT score ≥ 8) who visited their GP surgery in the past year. Results: Of an unweighted sample of 1775 smokers, the weighted estimate was 50.4% (95%CI=48.0-52.8) recalled having received brief advice on smoking in the past year. Smokers receiving advice were more likely to be older (OR17-year increments=1.19, 95%CI=1.06-1.34), female (OR=1.35, 95%CI=1.10-1.65) and have a disability (OR=1.44, 95%CI=1.11-1.88), to have made more quit attempts in the past year (compared with no attempts: 1 attempt, OR=1.65, 95%CI=1.32-2.08; 2 or more attempts, OR=2.02, 95%CI=1.49-2.74), and have greater nicotine dependence (OR=1.17, 95%CI=1.05-1.31). They were less likely to have no post 16 qualifications (OR=0.81, 95%CI=0.66-1.00). Of an unweighted sample of 1110 excessive drinkers, the weighted estimate was 6.5% (95%CI=5.1-7.9) recalled having received advice within their GP surgery on their alcohol consumption in the past year. Those receiving advice had higher AUDIT scores (OR=1.17, 95%CI=1.12-1.23) and were less likely to be female (OR=0.44, 95%CI=0.23-0.87). Conclusion: Whereas approximately half of smokers in England visiting their GP in the past year report having received advice on cessation, less than 10% of those who drink excessively report having received advice on their alcohol consumption.
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