Health care consumption for somatic patients following a brief outreach alcohol intervention
This study explores health and social care consumption in two groups of patients with risk of alcohol use disorder (AUD), following a brief outreach alcohol intervention in a general hospital setting in Denmark. The Relay intervention aims to decrease health care contacts and thus primarily, in the long run, to reduce health care costs and secondarily to reduce labour market consequences and social costs for patients with alcohol problems. The study took place in somatic hospital departments with high prevalence of alcohol related injuries and illnesses. Patients admitted to the hospital between October 2013 and June 2016 were screened using the Alcohol Use Identification Test (AUDIT) and everyone scoring 8 points and above were randomised to either intervention (Relay group) or control group (TAU group). The patients (n=561) were followed for 12 months after discharge from the hospital. Data was gathered on somatic and psychiatric hospital admissions, GP visits and other primary health care visits as well as the costs associated with the health care contacts. In addition, data on social costs and productivity was gathered. All data was gathered from the Danish registers using personal identification numbers. We modelled the association using generalised linear modelling and investigated the costs further by performing a quantile analysis. We found no statistically significant difference in health care costs, social costs or productivity between the two groups. A longer follow-up is needed to fully investigate effects of the Relay intervention on changes in patients’ health behaviour and subsequently on health care costs.
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