To measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of a program for timely detection, brief intervention, and referral for treatment of alcohol consumption in health centers at the first level of care in Mexico City.
The data were collected at 18 health centers in Mexico City between 2019 and 2021, as part of a larger study. A total of 287 participating health professionals measured their patients' alcohol consumption using the AUDIT-C test. The patients' demographic aspects and consumption patterns were analyzed, as well as care actions (detection, brief intervention, provision of leaflets, monitoring, and referral) at three points in time: before the COVID-19 pandemic, during confinement, and after confinement. Parametric and nonparametric tests were performed to identify the relationship and differences between the variables at the three points.
A total of 9 090 people who consumed alcohol were identified; detection of consumption fluctuated in the three periods studied (26%, 53%, and 37%, respectively). Medium- and high-risk consumption was more frequent among young men with higher schooling during and after confinement. In the post-confinement period, monitoring and referral actions increased.
Measuring the impact of the pandemic on the implementation of a program for timely detection of alcohol consumption, brief intervention, and referral for treatment in health centers helps to develop health policies by age, gender, schooling, and type of consumption at the first level of care.