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Use of AUDIT-C alcohol screening tool in NHS general dental practices in North London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Renato Venturelli, Antiopi Ntouva, Jessie Porter, Michelle Stennett, Mike J Crawford, Annie Britton, Christine Gratus, Georgios Tsakos, Anja Heilmann, Tim Newton, Caillin Redican, Hynek Pikhart, Richard G Watt

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Dental Journal
E-pub ahead of print13 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: Conflict of interest eTh authors declare no conflicts of interest. This paper presents independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Patient Benetfi Programme (Grant Reference Number PB-PG-0212–27029). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to the British Dental Association. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Background The numerous health risks of excessive alcohol consumption are well documented. Individuals at risk of harm from alcohol consumption can be identified through alcohol screening tools; however, there is limited research regarding their use in general dental practices.Methods Data were collected as part of a feasibility trial evaluating delivery of brief alcohol advice in general dental practices in North London. Patient demographics and health-related behaviours were collected, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) tool was used to assess alcohol consumption patterns.Results The analytical sample comprised 552 dental patients, of whom approximately half (46%) were drinking alcohol at hazardous levels. Males, younger adults, those who consumed red meat weekly and smokers all had significantly increased risks of excessive alcohol consumption. Smokers were more likely to consume excessive levels of alcohol irrespective of smoking frequency. Notable sex differences in alcohol consumption were identified, with males being more likely to consume alcohol frequently and in larger quantities than females.Conclusion The AUDIT-C tool can be used in general dental practice to screen for harmful levels of alcohol consumption. Clear associations exist between patient demographics, health behaviours and excessive alcohol consumption.

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