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Brief physician advice reduced drinking in older adults

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Fleming MF, Manwell LB, Barry KL, Adams W, Stauffacher EA. Brief physician advice for alcohol problems in older adults. A randomized community-based trial. J Fam Pract. 1999 May;48:378-84.


In older adults with potentially excessive drinking, does brief physician advice reduce alcohol use?


Randomised, single-blind (patient), controlled trial with 12- month follow-up.


24 primary care practices in Wisconsin, USA.


158 patients who were 65 years of age (66% men) and consumed > 11 drinks/wk (> 132 g of alcohol) (> 8 drinks/wk for women), had 2 positive responses to the CAGE questionnaire, or had 4 drinks per occasion 2 times in the previous 3 months ( 3 drinks for women). Exclusion criteria were attendance at an alcohol treatment pro-gramme or reported symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in the previous year, physician advice to decrease alcohol use in the previous 3 months, drinking > 50 drinks/wk, or thoughts of suicide. Physicians (43 family physicians and internists) and patients received financial incentives for participating. 92.4% of …

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