‘‘Occasional’ Drinking: Some uses of a non-standard temporal metric in primary care assessment of alcohol use'
Hampton Press, Inc.
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In this article we focused on two fundamentally different ways that patients’ alcohol usage is described or formulated. Generally doctors work to elicit a standardized rate of use metric (e.g., ‘six drinks per week’). But there is a fundamentally different metric that patients can invoke: a non-standard temporal metric of use, such as ‘occasional’ drinking. Invoking this metric is a method whereby patients obviate a physicians’ otherwise standard push to elicit a rate of use. Doctors and patients regularly contrast invocations of ‘occasional’ drinking with regularized, rate of use formulations of drinking, and treat the former as obviating the need to elicit or offer the latter. This analysis of the detailed interactional methods used by patients to claim to be ‘occasional’ consumers of alcohol advances lines of inquiry in several domains, to wit: the morality of cognition; the data collection practices of institutions; and the broad sweep of quantification in history.
alcohol screening, metrics, Dr-Pt communication, provider - patient communication, conversation analysis