Research Article

Managing alcohol problems in general practice.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 22 June 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:1873
  1. P Anderson


    A questionnaire on the management of alcohol problems was sent to 467 general practitioners. Of the 312 who replied, nine tenths thought that they had a legitimate role in working with patients with drinking problems, but less than a half thought that they were adequately equipped to perform this role. Only two fifths felt motivated to work with drinkers, less than a third were satisfied with the way in which they worked with drinkers, and fewer than one in 10 obtained work satisfaction from working with drinkers. Only 29% of doctors regularly gave advice to patients to reduce alcohol consumption, but 56% believed that their advice was effective. Doctors who had positive attitudes to working with drinkers undertook more work related to alcohol problems in their practice. There is a need to provide further education for general practitioners about alcohol related matters, and this education should include advice on intervention with heavy drinkers.