Screening and brief intervention in primary care settings

Michael F. Fleming*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Primary care practitioners are in a unique position to identify patients with potential alcohol problems and intervene when appropriate. Screening, the process by which practitioners can identify at-risk drinkers, can be followed by one-time or repeated short counseling sessions, known as brief interventions, which are designed to help the patient reduce drinking and minimize related problems. Varied levels of screening and brief intervention can be implemented in the primary care setting, depending on patient and physician factors. Although screening and brief intervention are valuable tools, they are underutilized in primary care practices. Strategies that may help increase physicians' use of these techniques in the primary care setting include skills-based role-playing, performance feedback, clinical protocols, clinic-based education, and training by credible experts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol Research and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Alcohol use disorders identification test
  • Binge drinking
  • Brief intervention
  • Counseling
  • General practitioner
  • Health risk assessment
  • Identification and screening for AOD (alcohol and other drug) use
  • Patient interview
  • Prevention
  • Primary health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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