GPs don’t identify alcohol abuse in patients

According to the University of Maastricht, GPs in Einhoven fail to see when their patients have a problem with drinking too much.

And if the alcohol abuse is recognised, they often fail to register the abuse. It was reported in the newspaper, Eindhovens Dagblad, that this was revealed by research done by of the University of Maastricht. About 10% of Dutch people abuse alcohol, but, says the university, this subject is taboo.

Almost 2 400 patients of nine Healthcare centres were questioned for the research. Of the 261 with a drinking problem, only 1 was registered in the GP information system.

Researcher, Latifa Abidi, finds this incredulous. She emphasises the serious consequences this can have for public health. If alcohol abuse is not registered, healthcare workers will not always be able to provide the right kind of help. Some medications, for example, are very dangerous when used in conjunction with an excess amount of alcohol.

According to Ed Beerens, who is a GP and a board member of Stichting Gezondheidscentra Eindhoven (the Foundation for Healthcare Centers), agrees that physicians find it hard to put chronical alcohol abuse in a patient’s file but he doesn’t think they have a problem discussing it with their patients.

Source: Studio040
Translator: Maurice

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