Low-Tech System Overcomes Barriers Preventing Doctor-Patient Chat About Drinking Habits

SCIENCE DAILY (06/13) – Primary care doctors are reluctant to talk to patients about their drinking habits, for fear of being perceived as judgmental. But a simple, intervention that encourages discussion could resolve this issue, according to a recent study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. About 25 to 30 percent of the general U.S. population drinks alcohol at a level that, while not diagnosed as alcoholism, is high enough to qualify as unhealthy, says Gail Rose, Ph.D., a behavioral health researcher at the University of Vermont (UVM) and lead author on the study. And heavy drinking, she adds, has a strong influence on health, and can diminish the efficacy of some medications, among other negative effects. Read more

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