Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Emerg Med. 2008 Jun;51(6):755-64. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2007.11.034. Epub 2008 Apr 23.

DIAL: a telephone brief intervention for high-risk alcohol use with injured emergency department patients.

Author information

Injury Prevention Center at Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI 02903, USA.



Brief interventions for high-risk alcohol use for injured emergency department (ED) patients have demonstrated effectiveness and may have a more pronounced effect with motor vehicle crash patients. We report on 3-month outcome data of a randomized controlled trial of injured patients, using a novel model of telephone-delivered brief interventions after ED discharge.


ED research assistants recruited adult injured patients who screened positive for high-risk alcohol use and were to be discharged home. After discharge, participants received by telephone an assessment of alcohol use and impaired driving and then were randomized to treatment (n=140) or standard care (n=145). Treatment consisted of 2 sessions of brief interventions done by telephone, focusing on risky alcohol use. At 3 months, both groups had an assessment of alcohol use and impaired driving.


Two hundred eighty-five patients were randomized and had a baseline mean Alcohol Use Disorders Inventory Test (AUDIT) score of 11.0 (SD=7.4). Three-month follow-up assessments were completed on 273 (95%). Mean AUDIT score decreased in both the treatment (mean change=-3.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] -4.5 to -2.3) and standard care group (mean change=-3.2; 95% CI -4.2 to -2.2). Measures of impaired driving decreased for the treatment group (mean change=-1.4 95%; CI -3.0 to 0.2) compared with standard care group (mean change=1.0; 95% CI -0.9 to 2.9; P=.04; d=0.31). Participants were stratified post hoc into 3 groups by baseline alcohol problem, with the treatment effect only being in the highest-scoring group (d=.30).


Telephone brief interventions decreased impaired driving in our treatment group. Telephone brief intervention appears to offer an alternative mechanism to deliver brief intervention for alcohol in this at-risk ED population.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center