Alcohol Use and the Older Adult Woman


      • Alcohol abuse in older women may be mistaken for age related conditions.
      • Screening, brief intervention, referral to treatment is an evidence based approach.
      • Screening goal is to detect risky drinking in older women prior to adverse outcomes.
      • HCP brief interventions help patients identify risky behavior and motivate action.
      • Consider referral to treatment when two or more DSM-5 criteria are met.


      Annual screening for risky alcohol use is key to the prevention of alcohol-related harm in the older adult women. Along with an increase in the number of older adult women is a parallel upward trend of alcohol use. Because adverse health effects from alcohol use are greater on the older woman, it is essential that nurse practitioners have the knowledge and competency to provide early intervention using the evidenced-based Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment approach. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment approach as it applies to the older female.


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      All authors are affiliated with Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, MD. Nancy S. Goldstein, DNP, ANP-BC, is an instructor in the Department of Acute and Chronic Care and can be reached at .


      Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, is assistant professor in the Center for Innovative Care in Aging and research associate of Hopkins Population Center.


      Christine Savage, PhD, RN, is a professor and chair of the Department of Community Public Health Nursing.


      Benita Walton-Moss, PhD, FNP-BC, is associate professor and Director of the Master’s Program.