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To better understand barriers and facilitators that hinder or help women veterans discuss their alcohol use with providers in primary care in order to better identify problematic drinking and enhance provider–patient communication about harmful drinking.
Women presenting to primary care may be less likely than men to disclose potentially harmful alcohol use. No studies have qualitatively examined the perspectives of primary care providers about factors that affect accurate disclosure of alcohol use by women veterans during routine clinic visits.
Providers (n=14) were recruited from primary care at two veterans Administration Women’s Health Clinics in California, United States. An open-ended interview guide was developed from domains of the consolidated framework for implementation science. Interviews elicited primary care providers’ perspectives on barriers and facilitators to women veterans’ (who may or may not be using alcohol in harmful ways) disclosure of alcohol use during routine clinic visits. Interview data were analyzed deductively using a combination of template analysis and matrix analysis.
Participants reported six barriers and five facilitators that they perceived affect women veteran’s decision to accurately disclose alcohol use during screenings and openness to discussing harmful drinking with a primary care provider. The most commonly described barriers to disclosure were stigma, shame, and discomfort, and co-occuring mental health concerns, while building strong therapeutic relationships and using probes to ‘dig deeper’ were most often described as facilitators. Findings from this study may enhance provider–patient discussions about alcohol use and help primary care providers to better identify problematic drinking among women veterans, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
This article presents a conceptual model to help facilitate the transition from primary care to specialty substance use disorder (SUD) care for appropriate patients.
Substance misuse is a common health condition among patients presenting to primary care settings and may complicate the treatment of chronic health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. It is therefore critical that primary care providers be prepared to identify and determine appropriate treatment options for patients presenting with substance misuse.
We conducted a narrative review that occurred in three stages: literature review of health care transition models, identification of conceptual domains common across care transition models, and identification of SUD-specific model elements.
The conceptual model presented describes patient, provider, and system-level facilitators and barriers to the transition process, and includes intervention strategies that can be utilized by primary care clinics to potentially improve the process of transitioning patients from primary care to SUD care. Recognizing that primary care clinics vary in available resources, we present three examples of care practices along an intensity continuum from low (counseling and referral) to moderate (telephone monitoring) to high (intensive case management) resource demands for adoption. We also provide a list of common outcomes clinics might consider when evaluating the impact of care transition practices in this patient population; these include process outcomes such as patients’ increased knowledge of available treatment resources, and health outcomes such as patients’ reduced substance use and better quality of life.
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