There is little known regarding the typical trajectory of alcohol use following a positive screen for hazardous alcohol use. This information would help primary care providers as they attempt to determine the best use of patient visits that might include brief alcohol interventions versus other competing medical demands. This longitudinal observational study included 98 Veterans who screened positive on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (>3) and were asked to report on their alcohol use every 3 months for 1 year. Using latent class growth modeling, we identified the best fitting latent class structure for each outcome of high-risk and heavy drinking, respectively. There was a class of participants with increased probability of having a high-risk week or episode of heavy drinking as well as a group of participants who appeared to maintain their current drinking pattern. Although the latent class growth modeling suggested that none of the groups of participants reduced the likelihood of occurrence of heavy drinking days, two groups did significantly reduce the probability of having a hazardous alcohol use week. These results suggest that there are specific classes of patients who are less likely to change their alcohol use following a positive screen, especially those patients who report engaging in heavy drinking.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health