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Differences between Groups of Family Physicians with Different Attitudes towards At-Risk Drinkers: A Post Hoc Study of the ODHIN Survey in Portugal
Introduction: We have recently shown that family physicians can be classified into two groups based on their attitudes towards atrisk drinkers: one with better and the other with worse attitudes. Objective: To compare the two groups regarding demographics, alcohol-related clinical practice, knowledge of sensible drinking limits, and barriers and facilitators to working with at-risk drinkers. Methods: A random sample of 234 Portuguese family physicians who answered the Optimizing Delivery of Health Care Interventions survey was included. The questionnaire asked questions on demographics, alcohol-related clinical practice, knowledge of sensible drinking limits, and barriers and facilitators to working with at-risk drinkers. Results: Family physicians with better attitudes were younger (p = 0.005) and less experienced (p = 0.04) and with higher male proportion (p = 0.01). This group had more hours of postgraduate training (p < 0.001), felt more prepared to counsel risky drinkers (p < 0.001), and considered themselves to have better counselling efficacy (p < 0.001). More family physicians in the group with worse attitudes considered that doctors cannot identify risky drinkers without symptoms (p = 0.01) and believed counselling is difficult (p = 0.005). Conclusions: Family physicians with better attitudes had more education on alcohol and fewer barriers to work with at-risk drinkers. These differences should be taken into account when designing implementation programs seeking to increase alcohol screening and brief advice.
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