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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


FIGLIE, Neliana Buzi; PILLON, Sandra Cristina; DUNN, John  and  LARANJEIRA, Ronaldo. The frequency of smoking and problem drinking among general hospital inpatients in Brazil - using the AUDIT and Fagerström questionnaires. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2000, vol.118, n.5, pp.139-143. ISSN 1806-9460.

CONTEXT: Although the CAGE questionnaire is one of the most widely used alcohol screening instruments, it has been criticized for not identifying people who are drinking heavily or who have alcohol related problems but do not as yet show symptoms of alcohol dependence. The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test) questionnaire was developed by WHO as a screening instrument specifically designed to identify problem drinkers, as well as those who were already dependent on alcohol. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to use the AUDIT and Fagerström questionnaires in a general hospital inpatient population to measure the frequency of problem drinking and nicotine dependence, and to see if levels varied between medical speciality. DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional study. SETTING: Federally funded public teaching hospital. SAMPLE: 275 inpatients from both genders. MAIN MEASUREMENTS: Socio-demographic data, AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) and Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence. RESULTS: We interviewed 275 inpatients, 49% of whom were men and 51% women. Thirty-four patients were identified as "cases" by the Audit questionnaire; 22% of the male patients and 3% of the females. Just over 21% of inpatients were current smokers. The gastroenterology (26%) and general medicine (16%) inpatient units had the largest number of individual cases. CONCLUSIONS: Only by knowing the prevalence of alcohol abuse/dependence and nicotine dependence in a general hospital can we evaluate the need for a specialized liaison service to identify and treat these patients.

Keywords : AUDIT; Fagerström; Screening; Liaison psychiatry; Inpatients.

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