Mary Ann Geer

Date of Graduation

Spring 2011


Master of Science in Nursing



Committee Chair

Kathryn Hope


adolescent, alcohol use, nurse practitioner, interventions, primary care, SBIRT, screening, underage drinking

Subject Categories



Underage drinking kills more than 5,000 young people each year and seriously injures thousands more. This study sought to identify the practice behaviors of nurse practitioners (NPs) in southwest Missouri in preventing, diagnosing, and treating underage drinking. An invitation to participate in an internet survey was emailed to 163 NPs. Data were collected from the 44 respondents who reported they saw adolescents in their practices. The majority of the respondents were family NPs practicing in comprehensive primary care. Forty-three percent of the NPs expressed confidence in their abilities to recognize alcohol abuse in adolescents, and consequently said they did not use a screening tool to evaluate underage drinking. More than half of the respondents reported that they screened adolescents for alcohol misuse by using readily available screening tools. The majority of respondents said they discussed the hazards of underage drinking with adolescents and encouraged them to avoid alcohol consumption. Adolescents who screened positive for alcohol misuse were most often referred for evaluation and counseling. The most frequently cited barrier to providing preventative care was lack of time. These findings will contribute to the growing body of knowledge which defines and shapes the role of the nurse practitioners.


© Mary Ann Geer

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