Provider training for patient-centered alcohol counseling in a primary care setting

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



*Alcohol Drinking; Ambulatory Care; *Counseling; *Education, Medical, Continuing; Female; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Humans; Male; Nurse Practitioners; *Patient Education as Topic; *Patient-Centered Care


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of a brief training program on primary care providers' skills, attitudes, and knowledge regarding high-risk and problem drinking.

DESIGN: Training plus pretesting and posttesting for program efficacy.

SETTING: Ambulatory primary care clinic; academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen attending physicians, 12 residents, and 5 nurse practitioners were randomized by clinical team affiliation to a Special Intervention or usual care condition of a larger study. We report the results of the training program for the Special Intervention providers.

INTERVENTION: Providers received a 2-hour group training session plus a 10- to 20-minute individual tutorial session 2 to 6 weeks after the group session. The training focused on teaching providers how to perform patient-centered counseling for high-risk and problem drinkers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Alcohol counseling skills; attitudes regarding preparedness to intervene and perceived importance and usefulness of intervening with high-risk and problem drinkers; and knowledge of the nature, prevalence, and appropriate treatment of alcohol abuse in primary care populations.

RESULTS: After training, providers scored significantly higher on measures of counseling skills, preparedness to intervene, perceived usefulness and importance of intervening, and knowledge.

CONCLUSION: A group training program plus brief individual feedback can significantly improve primary care providers' counseling skills, attitudes, and knowledge regarding high-risk and problem drinkers.

DOI of Published Version



Arch Intern Med. 1997 Nov 10;157(20):2334-41.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Archives of internal medicine

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID