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J Trauma. 2011 Jun;70(6):1437-43. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e31821b257f.

Trauma healthcare providers' knowledge of alcohol abuse.

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University of Texas at Austin, Health Behavior Research and Training Institute, University Medical Center at Brackenridge, Austin, Texas 78703, USA.



Brief alcohol interventions for patients in trauma settings have demonstrated significant reductions in drinking behaviors, injury related risk behaviors, and subsequent arrests for driving while intoxicated. However, although a number of surveys have examined the knowledge and attitudes of trauma center personnel regarding alcohol problems, the knowledge and attitudes toward alcohol misuse, screening, and intervention services among various trauma care personnel within an individual trauma center have not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to examine provider knowledge and attitudes related to screening and brief intervention for alcohol problems in a single Level-I trauma center.


A cross-sectional online survey was administered to employees of a Level-I trauma center with a screening and brief intervention program. Surveys were solicited from hospital staff responsible for the care of trauma patients. Topics covered in the survey included alcoholism, brief interventions in trauma centers, and motivational interviewing.


Most trauma care staff members surveyed were white and held BS/BA degrees or Associates' degrees in nursing. The average years of professional practice were 8.6 years. Staff's attitudes regarding those who misuse alcohol was somewhat neutral, showing a weak understanding of the etiology of alcoholism and the effectiveness of brief intervention and referral for treatment. Staff members also struggled to correctly identify the components of brief interventions.


This limited knowledge and the neutral attitudes regarding alcohol problems may indirectly influence metrics of program success. Trauma care staff will benefit from additional training regarding alcohol problems and brief interventions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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