Prevalence of alcohol misuse among adolescents and young adults evaluated in a primary care setting

Juan J. Carballo, Maria A. Oquendo, Lucas Giner, Pedro Garcia-Parajua, Jorge J. Iglesias, Pablo H. Goldberg, Gil Zalsman, Sadia R. Chaudhury, Leo Sher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective. To determine the prevalence of alcohol misuse among older adolescents and young adults evaluated in a primary care setting using the CAGE questionnaire. Methods. In this crossover descriptive study, a general practitioner, using the CAGE questionnaire, interviewed consecutive primary care patients aged 18-30 years. Results. 29.5% of adolescents and young adults answered "yes" to at least one question of the CAGE questionnaire. However, only 7.4% of study participants gave an affirmative answer to at least two CAGE questions. There were more males than females among subjects who answered "yes" to at least one question. Furthermore, males more commonly gave an affirmative answer to at least two CAGE questions. Conclusions. A substantial number of older adolescents and young adults evaluated at a primary care center may have alcohol misuse. Instruments with higher sensitivity may be preferable in screening procedures for alcohol misuse. Responses suggestive of problematic drinking should be confirmed during the second post-screening stage with a more detailed discussion about patterns of use, problems related to drinking, and symptoms of alcohol use disorder. Further studies of prevention interventions in adolescents and young adults are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol
  • Primary care
  • Public health
  • Screening

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