Background/introduction Problem alcohol consumption is a major health problem in the UK. Alcohol assessment and behavioural advice or “brief interventions” are effective in decreasing alcohol intake in primary and secondary care but not in sexual health clinics.
Aim(s)/objectives We assessed sexual health service user views towards alcohol screening using a prospective cross-sectional survey to identify any themes, which limit acceptability of these methods.
Methods Age, gender, alcohol consumption measured by AUDIT-C score, and opinion towards 10 statements on alcohol screening within a sexual health clinic were assessed.
Results 462 surveys were returned. Respondents were 64% female, 36% male. Most, 53.7%, were aged ≥25 years, the highest number of responses was received from those aged 20–24 (32.2%), median age category was 25–29 years. The majority of respondents, 61.6% had hazardous alcohol consumption. Males had more positive AUDIT-C scores (indicating hazardous alcohol consumption) compared to females (75% vs 54%, p < 0.001). Those aged <30 had more positive AUDIT-C scores (67.9% vs 32.1%, p < 0.001). Attitudes to alcohol assessment performed by sexual health practitioners were positive (range 91.1%–74.5% favourable), responses were less favourable, becoming negative towards the appropriateness of the sexual health clinic as a screening venue (range 56.7%-33.6% favourable). Responses to 4 out of 10 opinion statements were related (multivariate regression model) to age or AUDIT-C score.
Discussion/conclusion Different strategies need to be explored within sexual health for alcohol consumption reduction interventions as clinic users are younger, have higher rates of hazardous alcohol consumption and are potentially more resistant to standard brief interventions.
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