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Alcohol Alcohol. 2007 Sep-Oct;42(5):430-5. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Simple advice for injured hazardous drinkers: an implementation study.

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Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Pl Lesseps 1, Barcelona, Spain.



To evaluate the implementation of a screening and intervention procedure for hazardous drinkers in the routine praxis of an emergency service, without increasing the ED (emergency department) staff.


Four stages of the implementation process were undertaken: exploration and adoption, programme installation, and initial implementation. Two hospitals participated, with a coordinator, four trainers and all the emergency nursing staff. Eligible patients were males over age 15 presenting at the weekend with a traffic injury. Screening was performed with five questions (the three items of alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT-C) plus two questions about drinking within 6 h before the crash). Hazardous drinkers and drivers who had driven while intoxicated were offered simple advice. The programme implementation was evaluated by reviewing the patients' forms and by interviews and surveys of the nursing staff.


The study lasted for 27 weeks. Knowledge and compliance with the programme were good. However, only 25% of the eligible patients were identified. Simple advice was accomplished by 94.7% of those in need of it. Although the majority of nurses felt at ease performing the intervention, 75% considered the programme as a work overload and only 21% reckoned that it was feasible for the emergency service.


The emergency setting poses important barriers to the implementation of brief interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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