Background: Although women’s health settings could provide access to women for screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) for risky alcohol use, little is known about rates of alcohol use or associated risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy (AEP) among women’s health patients, receipt of SBIRT services in these settings, or patient attitudes towards SBIRT services.
Methods: This study reports the results of a self-administered survey to a convenience sample of women’s health patients attending public clinics for family planning or sexually transmitted infection visits.
Results: Surveys were analyzed for 199 reproductive-aged women who had visited the clinic within the past year. The rate of risky drinking among the sample was (44%) and risk for AEP was (17%). Despite this, many patients did not receive SBIRT services, with more than half of risky drinking patients reporting that they were not advised about safe drinking limits (59%) and similar rates of patients at risk for AEP reporting that their medical provider did not discuss risk factors of AEP (53%). Patient attitudes towards receipt of SBIRT services were favorable; more than 90% of women agreed or strongly agreed that if their drinking was affecting their health, their women’s health provider should advise them to cut down.
Conclusions: Women’s health clinics may be an ideal setting to implement SBIRT and future research should address treatment efficacy in these settings.