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Attitudes and managing alcohol problems in general practice in Europe: results from the European ODHIN study


To assess and compare attitudes of general practitioners in different European countries towards screening and early interventions in alcohol use disorders.


A total of 2435 general practitioners (GPs) from 9 European countries (Catalonia, Czech Republic, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and UK) were surveyed. The questionnaire included questions on demographic, education and training on alcohol, received by general practitioners, as well as their attitudes towards management of alcohol problems. In addition, the Shortened Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Perception Questionnaire (SAAPPQ) was used.


Seventy seven per cent of GPs declared that they placed ‘somewhat high’ or ‘very high’ their priority on disease prevention of the general practitioners; 54% reported having received 4 or more hours of education and training on managing alcohol problems, and 43% reported managing seven or more patients for alcohol problems in the previous year. GPs who reported higher levels of alcohol-related CME training were more likely to report regularly asking their patients about alcohol use (chi-square (3)=14.9, p=0.002). Moreover, there was a significant association between experience of alcohol-related CME and the number of patients managed for hazardous drinking (chi-square (5)=83.6, p<0.0005). Busyness (64%) and lack of training (52%) were considered most important barriers and readily available support services (84%) most effective facilitator of early intervention.


The recommendations coming from the results of the ODHIN study for improving the delivery of early alcohol intervention and the management of alcohol problems in general practice are: provide better training and infrastructure. The main barriers and facilitators of early interventions did not change throughout last 16 years.

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Correspondence to Marcin Wojnar.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Wojnar, M., Jakubczyk, A., Anderson, P. et al. Attitudes and managing alcohol problems in general practice in Europe: results from the European ODHIN study. Addict Sci Clin Pract 8 (Suppl 1), A87 (2013).

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