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Larson MJ, Mohr BA, Adams RS, Wooten NR, Williams TV. Am. J. Public Health 2014; 104(8): 1402-1412.


Mary Jo Larson and Rachel Sayko Adams are with The Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Institute for Behavioral Health, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. Beth A. Mohr is with The Heller School for Social Policy & Management, Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Brandeis University. Nikki R. Wooten is with Military Social Work Research and Practice, University of South Carolina College of Social Work, Columbia. Thomas V. Williams is with Methods, Measures, Analyses, Defense Health Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, Defense Health Agency, Department of Defense, Falls Church, VA.


(Copyright © 2014, American Public Health Association)






OBJECTIVEs. We identified to what extent the Department of Defense postdeployment health surveillance program identifies at-risk drinking, alone or in conjunction with psychological comorbidities, and refers service members who screen positive for additional assessment or care.

METHODS. We completed a cross-sectional analysis of 333‚ÄČ803 US Army active duty members returning from Iraq or Afghanistan deployments in fiscal years 2008 to 2011 with a postdeployment health assessment. Alcohol measures included 2 based on self-report quantity-frequency items-at-risk drinking (positive Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test alcohol consumption questions [AUDIT-C] screen) and severe alcohol problems (AUDIT-C score of 8 or higher)-and another based on the interviewing provider's assessment.

RESULTS. Nearly 29% of US Army active duty members screened positive for at-risk drinking, and 5.6% had an AUDIT-C score of 8 or higher. Interviewing providers identified potential alcohol problems among only 61.8% of those screening positive for at-risk drinking and only 74.9% of those with AUDIT-C scores of 8 or higher. They referred for a follow-up visit to primary care or another setting only 29.2% of at-risk drinkers and only 35.9% of those with AUDIT-C scores of 8 or higher.

CONCLUSIONS. This study identified missed opportunities for early intervention for at-risk drinking. Future research should evaluate the effect of early intervention on long-term outcomes. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print June 12, 2014: e1-e11. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301901).

Language: en


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