Professional responses to alcohol related problems : a study of a health centre
From a research and literature survey, the incidence of alcohol related problems is discussed and past and current approaches to intervention and treatment outlined. An ideal model for intervention and treatment based on inter professional work in Primary Health Care Teams is proposed. One Health Centre is the basis of study of responses by the professionals working on a primary health care team approach to the alcohol and alcohol related problems in the area. The knowledge and attitudinal basis of the professionals are measured by questionnaire and interview. Incidence of alcohol and alcohol related problems in one of the two practices in the Health Centre is measured and compared with national guideline figures. Professional responses by professionals to drinkers and to affected persons are analysed by questionnaire and particular attention is given to responses to people living in nuclear families. Two case studies are included for illustrative purposes. The discrepancy between the ideal model and actual practice is established in relation to numbers treated, division of labour and lack of ongoing support to the patient. The model is accepted as the desirable method of intervention. The study ends with sets of recommendations relating to community based prevention strategies, early detection and intervention, ongoing support, monitoring and interdisciplinary collaboration, methodological weaknesses are acknowledged and areas for further future research identified.