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Parents Want Kids' Docs To Check For Alcohol
Parents are willing to have their children’s doctors screen the adults for alcohol problems and make a recommendation about what to do, a study found.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized the child health care visit as a good place to deal with family issues, but there was little information about how parents would react to questions about their own behavior.
The study should help pediatricians feel more comfortable discussing the issue of alcohol, lead author and pediatrician Dr. Celeste Wilson said in a news release. She works at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School.
The work looked at more than 1,000 people. Parents and caregivers were given anonymous surveys about alcohol problems. The questionnaires also assessed their preferences for who should perform the alcohol screening, their acceptance of screening through the pediatrician’s office and preferred interventions if the screening indicated problems.
Seventy-three percent without alcohol problems said they would be comfortable being screened by a pediatrician, or through a computer or paper survey.
Seventy-seven percent who had alcohol problems according to the survey were also comfortable with screening. But only 54 percent said they would like a computer test, and 48 percent were comfortable with pen-and-paper.
All said they would be more honest with a pediatrician or a written survey than with a nurse.
“To the extent that a parent’s ability to parent is influenced by his or her use of substances, I would strongly argue that parental alcohol use is a pediatric issue. If a parent is an alcoholic or has problem alcohol use, then they are not the parent they would like to be to their child,” Wilson said.
The study appears in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.
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