Helping Patients Find Moderation
The United States Preventive Services Task Force
reemphasized the impact nurses and doctors can play in promoting healthy alcohol consumption among their patients in a draft recommendation statement which is now available for public comment
Based on recent research, the task force "concluded that primary care doctors and nurses could help patients cut down on drinking by offering a brief counseling session or a series of sessions," reported the New York Times.
Whether or not counseling is necessary can be determined, according to the task force, by asking questions, such as ""How often do you have five or more drinks on one occasion?"
The report is based on the evidence review "Behavioral Counseling After Screening for Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis for the U.S. Preventive," which was first published in the Annals of Internal Medicine on Sept. 25, 2012.
While not a new discussion, it is an important one. Data cited by the task force found that approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population misuses alcohol, which in turn results in an estimated 85,000 deaths a year.
It is the estimated third-leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, stated the report.
Do you think alcohol counseling from nurses and primary care providers would benefit patients? Do you or your facility offer such support?