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Impact of Training and Municipal Support on Primary Health Care–Based Measurement of Alcohol Consumption in Three Latin American Countries: 5-Month Outcome Results of the Quasi-experimental Randomized SCALA Trial

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Peter Anderson, Professor Gill Rowlands, Professor Amy O'DonnellORCiD, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Purpose: We aimed to test the effects of providing municipal support and training to primary health care providers compared to both training alone and to care as usual on the proportion of adult patients having their alcohol consumption measured. Methods: We undertook a quasi-experimental study reporting on a 5-month implementation period in 58 primary health care centres from municipal areas within Bogotá (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), and Lima (Peru). Within the municipal areas, units were randomized to four arms: (1) care as usual (control); (2) training alone; (3) training and municipal support, designed specifically for the study, using a less intensive clinical and training package; and (4) training and municipal support, designed specifically for the study, using a more intense clinical and training package. The primary outcome was the cumulative proportion of consulting adult patients out of the population registered within the centre whose alcohol consumption was measured (coverage). Results: The combination of municipal support and training did not result in higher coverage than training alone (incidence rate ratio (IRR) = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.6 to 0.8). Training alone resulted in higher coverage than no training (IRR = 9.8, 95% CI = 4.1 to 24.7). Coverage did not differ by intensity of the clinical and training package (coefficient = 0.8, 95% CI 0.4 to 1.5). Conclusions: Training of providers is key to increasing coverage of alcohol measurement amongst primary health care patients. Although municipal support provided no added value, it is too early to conclude this finding, since full implementation was shortened due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Anderson P, Manthey J, Llopis EJ, Rey GN, Bustamante IV, Piazza M, Aguilar PSM, Mejía-Trujillo J, Pérez-Gómez A, Rowlands G, Lopez-Pelayo H, Mercken L, Kokole D, O'Donnell A, Solovei A, Kaner E, Schulte B, de Vries H, Schmidt C, Gual A, Rehm J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of General Internal Medicine

Year: 2021

Volume: 36

Pages: 2663-2671

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 19/01/2021

Acceptance date: 17/12/2020

Date deposited: 09/04/2021

ISSN (print): 0884-8734

ISSN (electronic): 1525-1497

Publisher: Springer New York LLC


DOI: 10.1007/s11606-020-06503-9


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Funder referenceFunder name
778048European Commission