ERIC Number: ED210600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Incidence of Heavy Drinking in a Community Mental Health Center's Outpatient Population.
Stark, Michael J.
Research has shown that many psychiatric inpatients are alcoholics and that a significant number of these alcoholics are not being diagnosed or treated for their drinking problems. The incidence of heavy drinking among psychiatric outpatients and the extent to which psychotherapists are aware of their drinking behaviors were assessed. A self-administered questionnaire designed to detect heavy drinking was completed by 183 psychiatric outpatients at a community mental health center and by 133 non-psychiatric outpatients, i.e., the control group, at health care facilities. Psychotherapists (N=13) completed surveys and a staff psychiatrist examined 50 outpatient medical records to assess the extent to which therapists were aware of their clients' heavy drinking patterns. Results showed a significant difference in heavy drinking between the psychiatric outpatients and the control subjects. An analysis by sex revealed that twice as many men and five times as many women were heavy drinkers from the psychiatric outpatient sample than from the control group. Results also showed that pscyotherapists were aware of the heavy drinking of their patients; therapists were very accurate in estimating the number of heavy drinkers. The medical records also revealed frequent notations regarding drinking. The findings should encourage mental health personnel to be sensitive to alcohol abuse in all patients. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 24-26, 1981).