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Alcohol abuse screening/brief interventions in community hospital emergency department
Date:8/24/2009

  • Screening and brief interventions for identifying alcohol problems are effective, but not often used in community hospital emergency departments
  • Study shows positive results when SBI model was implemented in a community hospital ED, but rate of screening returned to previous levels following study
  • Identified barriers that, if overcome, could allow model to work in a community hospital setting

PROVIDENCE, RI There are an estimated 7.6 million alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visits each year in the country. A first step in identifying an alcohol problem is screening all ED patients utilizing two well-researched screening tests. Once identified, one technique that has proven successful is motivationally-based brief interviews focused on reducing alcohol use. The research to date, however, has been focused on an academic medical environment and not within the more common environment of the community hospital ED, where 56 percent of all ED visits occur.

As a result, physicians and researchers at Rhode Island Hospital's Injury Prevention Center set out to identify a model that could integrate screening and brief interventions (SBI) for alcohol misuse into a community hospital environment. The study was published in the August 2009 issue of the journal Substance Abuse. Their goal was to develop, implement and evaluate the adoption of a model of SBI, using feedback from the community hospital ED. This would then allow them to create a delivery method for the toolkit for SBI developed by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Under the direction of lead author Michael Mello, MD, MPH, director of the Injury Prevention Center and an emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island and The Miriam hospitals, the researchers worked with Robert Dinwoodie, DO, MBA, an emergency medicine physician at Kent Hospital as a pilot site.

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Contact: Nancy Cawley Jean
njean@lifespan.org
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

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