Factors Influencing Patient Receptivity to Brief Alcohol Interventions in Primary Care: An Application of Conjoint Analysis

Jacob L. Scharer, Julie C. Gass, Robyn L. Shepardson, Stephen A. Maisto, Jennifer S. Funderburk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Brief alcohol interventions (BAIs) are an evidence-based practice for addressing hazardous alcohol use in primary care settings. However, numerous barriers to implementation of BAIs in routine practice have been identified, including concerns about patient receptivity to BAIs. Despite this being a commonly identified barrier to BAI implementation, little BAI implementation research has focused on patient receptivity. Objectives: This study aimed to identify the treatment preferences of primary care patients who screened positive for hazardous alcohol use and to evaluate factors that may influence patients’ receptivity to BAIs delivered in primary care. We conducted a mailed survey of primary care patients (N = 245) who screened positive for hazardous alcohol use on annual screening measures based on electronic medical record data. Patients completed measures assessing treatment preferences and a conjoint analysis questionnaire designed to evaluate the relative importance of three factors (focus of the BAI, tailoring of the BAI, and familiarity with the provider delivering the BAI) for patient receptivity. Results: Conjoint analysis results revealed that familiarity with provider (with patients preferring BAIs delivered by providers they have previously met) was the most important factor in predicting patients’ receptivity to BAIs. Additionally, patients preferred to discuss alcohol use in the context of another concern (focus of the BAI) and preferred personalized information tailored based on their specific health concerns (tailoring of the BAI), although these factors were not statistically significant when accounting for familiarity with provider. Conclusions: Findings of the present study have potential to inform future research on implementation of BAIs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Primary care
  • brief alcohol interventions
  • conjoint analysis
  • patient receptivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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