TUESDAY, July 18, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Changes in alcohol consumption screens completed in routine care are associated with parallel changes in depression screening results, according to a study published online June 16 in Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Kevin A. Hallgren, Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues examined associations between changes in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption version (AUDIT-C) scores and changes in depression symptoms captured in brief screens completed in routine care. The analysis included 198,335 primary care patients who completed two AUDIT-C screens and Patient Health Questionnaire-2 depression screens 11 to 24 months apart.
The researchers found that subgroups with increases in AUDIT-C risk categories generally experienced increases in the prevalence of positive depression screens (risk ratios ranging from 0.95 to 2.00). Decreases in AUDIT-C risk categories were generally associated with decreases in the prevalence of positive depression screens (risk ratios ranging from 0.52 to 1.01). Similarly, patient subgroups with no changes in AUDIT-C risk categories experienced little or no change in the prevalence of positive depression screens (risk ratios ranging from 0.98 to 1.15).
“As hypothesized, changes in alcohol consumption reported on AUDIT-C screens completed in routine care were associated with changes in depression screening results,” the authors write. “Results support the validity and clinical utility of monitoring changes in AUDIT-C scores over time as a meaningful measure of changes in drinking.”
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