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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015 Feb;73(2):314.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2014.09.026. Epub 2014 Oct 13.

Addressing alcohol-related harms within maxillofacial trauma practice.

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Consultant Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:
Formerly Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Registrar, Geelong Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; Currently Senior Clinical Fellow, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



A brief intervention, conducted in the short-term care setting after an alcohol-related injury, has been reported to be highly beneficial in reducing the risk of reinjury and in reducing the subsequent level of alcohol consumption. This project aimed to understand Australasian oral and maxillofacial surgeons' attitudes, knowledge, and skills in alcohol screening and brief intervention within short-term care settings for patients admitted with facial trauma.


A Web-based survey was made available to all members of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (200 to 250 members), promoted through a number of e-mail bulletins sent by the association to all members. Implied consent was assumed for participants who completed the online survey. The survey explored the surgeons' current level of involvement in treating patients with alcohol-related facial trauma, as well as their knowledge of and attitudes toward alcohol screening and brief intervention. The survey also explored their willingness to undergo further training and involvement in implementing a screening and brief intervention program. Parts of the survey were based on a hypothetical case with facial injury and a drinking history that was presented to the participants, and the participants were asked to give their response to this scenario.


A total of 58 surgeons completed the online survey. Of the surgeons surveyed, 91% were men and 88% were consultant surgeons. Seventy-one percent would take an alcohol history, 29% would deliver a brief alcohol intervention, and 14% would refer the patient to an alcohol treatment service or clinician. Forty percent agreed that they had adequate training in managing patients with alcohol-related injuries, whereas 17% and 19% indicated that they had adequate time and adequate resources, respectively. Of the surgeons, 76% reported the need for more information on where to refer patients for appropriate alcohol treatment.


The study findings confirm the challenges and barriers to implementing a brief alcohol intervention in current practice. Service gaps, as well as opportunities for training, exist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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