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Eur J Emerg Med. 2012 Dec;19(6):384-8. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e32834f369e.

Usefulness of brief intervention for patients admitted to emergency services for acute alcohol intoxication.

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CHU de Nancy, Addiction Treatment and Prevention Center, Hôpital de Brabois, Bâtiment Philippe Canton, Rue du Morvan, Vandoeuvre-Les-Nancy, Cedex, France.



In hospital emergency services, the prevalence of alcohol-related admissions is about 20%, of which 80% display elevated γ-glutamyl transpeptidase or carbohydrate deficient transferring (CDT). We investigated whether intensive case management (ICM) that included cognitive behavior-oriented brief intervention could decrease patient morbidity.


This study was a 13-month, prospective, exhaustive, longitudinal, controlled trial in an emergency department. Readmission rate of patients previously admitted to the emergency services for the same reason was chosen as an indicator of efficacy.


A total of 203 patients were enrolled in the study: 106 in the intervention group, who received ICM, and 97 in the control group, who received standard care. In the control group, 59% of the patients were readmitted for the same reason in the 1-year follow-up against 32% in the intervention group. Thus, the 1-year readmission rate decreased by 45%.


ICM in an emergency ward can successfully treat patients with alcohol problems and reduce relapse rate. Alcohol intervention should be part of the standard care in alcohol-related emergency admissions. It treats the alcohol problem early, effectively, and at low cost, and can have a major impact on long-term patient health.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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