Influence of Mental Health and Alcohol or Other Drug Use Risk on Adolescent Reported Care Received in Primary Care Settings

Published in: BMC Family Practice, Volume 19, Number 1 (January 2018), page 10. doi: 10.1186/s12875-017-0689-y

Posted on on February 14, 2018

by Lisa S. Meredith, William G. Shadel, Stephanie Brooks Holliday, Layla Parast, Elizabeth J. D'Amico

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To describe patterns of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use risk and adolescent reported primary care (PC) screening and intervention, and examine associations of AOD risk and mental health with reported care received.


We analyzed data from cross-sectional surveys collected from April 3, 2013 to November 24, 2015 from 1279 diverse adolescents ages 12–18 who reported visiting a doctor at least once in the past year. Key measures were AOD risk using the Personal Experience Screening Questionnaire; mental health using the 5-item Mental Health Inventory; binary measures of adolescent-reported screening and intervention.


Half (49.2%) of the adolescents reported past year AOD use. Of the 769 (60.1%) of adolescents that reported being asked by a medical provider in PC about AOD use, only 37.2% reported receiving screening/intervention. The odds of reported screening/intervention were significantly higher for adolescents with higher AOD risk and lower mental health scores.


Adolescents at risk for AOD use and poor mental health are most likely to benefit from brief intervention. These findings suggest that strategies are needed to facilitate medical providers identification of need for counseling of both AOD and mental health care for at risk youth.

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