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University of Michigan study: Pep talk to teens in the ER helped reduce violence, alcohol misuse
Date:8/3/2010

try, Addiction Research Center. "It doesn't preach or tell teens what to do, but allows adolescents to weigh the pros and cons of their choices in reference to their goals."

The therapists' talks with teens also included role play exercises and tools to cope with risky situations with regard to drinking and violence and referrals to community services.

"Most of the adolescents had high aspirations they wanted to go to college, be a good role model for their younger siblings. They didn't want to make the mistakes they see happening around them," Walton explains. "We talked to them about the discrepancies between their behavior and what they wanted to do with their lives."

Motivational Interviewing, with proper training, can be used effectively by healthcare providers as well those without a professional healthcare background. Study co-author Stephen T. Chermack, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist at the U-M Health System and the VA Healthcare System in Ann Arbor is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT).

Adolescents in the study reported to the emergency department at Hurley Medical Center between noon and 11 p.m., between September 2006 and September 2009.

All patients completed computerized screening questions regarding alcohol use and violence and were randomized into three groups: a control group receiving a brochure, or one of two groups receiving a 35-minute brief intervention delivered by a computer or a therapist in the emergency room.

Authors say the computer screening worked well with teenagers because of their comfort with using technology. The computer program included animated role playing and provided exercises and tools to cope with risky behavior such as drinking and driving and conflicts.

"The study tells us that technology can aid in assisting high risk youth in busy clinical settings, as well as deliver important prevention messa
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Contact: Margarita B. Wagerson
mbauza@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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