This study was supported by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA09496), and the Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration (D32-PE16033 and D32-PE10158–01). A version of this paper was presented at the 1996 Research Society on Alcoholism Scientific Meeting, Washington, D.C., June 24, 1996.
Alcohol Use Disorders, Consumption Patterns, and Health-Related Quality of Life of Primary Care Patients
Article first published online: 30 MAY 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 21, Issue 5, pages 899–905, August 1997
How to Cite
Volk, R. J., Cantor, S. B., Steinbauer, J. R. and Cass, A. R. (1997), Alcohol Use Disorders, Consumption Patterns, and Health-Related Quality of Life of Primary Care Patients. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 21: 899–905. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1997.tb03855.x
- Issue published online: 30 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 30 MAY 2006
- Received for publication September 26, 1996; accepted February 21, 1997
- Health-Related Quality of Life;
- Alcohol Abusemependence;
- Primary Care
This study examined the association of alcohol use disorders and consumption patterns with various dimensions of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) in primary care patients, as measured by the SF-36 Health Survey. A probability sample of 1333 primary care patients completed the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule to determine the presence of alcohol abuse or dependence disorders, and answered questions about patterns of alcohol consumption. Physical and Mental Health Component Summaries and primary scales of the SF-36 were used as measures of HRQOL. Patients meeting criteria for alcohol dependence scored lower (poorer HRQOL) on the Mental Health Component Summary and each primary scale of the SF-36, whereas no differences were observed for alcohol abusers compared with patients not meeting criteria for a disorder. The association of alcohol dependence with diminished mental health functioning was mediated by its co-occurrence with mood and anxiety disorders. Patients who drank in a Frequent, Low-Quantity pattern generally had better overall HRQOL than patients from other consumption groups. Binge drinkers and Frequent, High-Quantity Drinkers showed markedly lower scores in the areas of Role Functioning and Mental Health. In contrast to recent studies of mental health problems in primary care, alcohol use disorders and consumption patterns seem to have a modest impact on patients' HRQOL. These effects, though, vary by dimension of functioning, the presence of alcohol dependence rather than abuse, and pattern of alcohol consumption. Global measures of HRQOL such as the SF-36 Health Survey may provide important indicators of treatment effectiveness in primary care intervention studies for patients with drinking problems.