Among patients with unhealthy alcohol use, those with HIV are less likely than those without to receive evidence-based alcohol-related care: A national VA study

Emily C. Williams, Gwen T. Lapham, Susan M. Shortreed, Anna D. Rubinsky, Jennifer F. Bobb, Kara M. Bensley, Sheryl L Catz, Julie E. Richards, Katharine A. Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Alcohol use has important adverse effects on people living with HIV (PLWH). This study of patients with recognized unhealthy alcohol use estimated and compared rates of alcohol-related care received by PLWH and HIV- patients. Methods Outpatients from the Veterans Health Administration who had one or more positive screen(s) for unhealthy alcohol use (AUDIT-C ≥ 5) documented in their medical records 10/2009-5/2013 were eligible. Primary and secondary outcomes were brief intervention documented ≤14 days after a positive alcohol screen, and a composite measure of any alcohol-related care (brief intervention, specialty addictions treatment or pharmacotherapy documented ≤365 days), respectively. Unadjusted and adjusted regression analyses compared alcohol-related care outcomes in PLWH and HIV- patients. Results The sample included 830,825 outpatients (3,514 PLWH), reflecting 1,172,606 positive screens (1–5 per patient). For PLWH, 57.0% (95% confidence interval 55.4–58.5%) of positive screens were followed by brief intervention, compared to 73.8% (73.7–73.9%) for HIV- patients [relative rate: 0.77 (0.75–0.79), p < 0.001]. After adjustment, comparable proportions were 61.0% (59.3–62.6%) for PLWH and 73.7% (73.6–73.8%) for HIV- patients [adjusted RR = 0.83 (0.80–0.85); p < 0.001]. Secondary outcome results were similar: for PLWH and HIV- patients, 67.1% (65.7–68.6%) and 77.7% (95% CI 77.7–77.8%) of positive screens, respectively, were followed by any alcohol-related care after adjustment [adjusted RR = 0.86 (0.85–0.88), p < 0.001]. Conclusions In this large national sample of VA outpatients with unhealthy alcohol use, PLWH were less likely to receive alcohol-related care than HIV- patients. Special efforts may be needed to ensure alcohol-related care reaches PLWH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Volume174
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol use disorders
  • Brief intervention
  • Disparities
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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