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Subst Abus. 2011 Jul;32(3):144-52. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2011.562743.

Six-month follow-up of computerized alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment in the emergency department.

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Center for Trauma and Injury Prevention Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Orange, California, USA.


The goal of this observational study was to measure change in alcohol consumption at 6 months following emergency department computerized alcohol screening brief intervention (CASI) and referral to treatment (ED-SBIRT) with integrated brief negotiated interview (BNI) and computer-generated personal alcohol reduction plans. At-risk patients received a BNI by CASI, including personalized feedback, assessment of readiness to change, reasons for cutting down, goal setting, and a printed personal alcohol reduction plan. Alcohol use was assessed by telephone interview 6 months after CASI. Factors associated with lower alcohol consumption were examined. Of the 385 participants who completed the BNI, were consented, and enrolled, 221 subjects completed the 6-month follow-up interview. Forty-seven percent of the study sample of at-risk patients were no longer drinking over the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)-recommended limits. Reductions were greater for patients with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores of 1 to 7. Readiness to change was a good predictor of drinking below the recommended limits. The use of computerized ED-SBIRT with integrated personalized messaging and BNI holds promise as a viable screening and intervention modality for a wide range of emergency department patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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