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Int Emerg Nurs. 2017 Mar;31:22-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Alcohol risk drinking, quality of life and health state among patients treated at the Sobering Unit in the emergency department - One year follow-up study.

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Satakunta Hospital District/University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science, Sairaalantie 3, FI-28500 Pori, Finland. Electronic address:
University of Tampere, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Pohjoisranta 11, FI-28100 Pori, Finland. Electronic address:
University of Turku, Department of Biostatistics, Lemminkäisenkatu 1, FI-20520 Turku, Finland. Electronic address:
University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science/Turku University Hospital/The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Nursing, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland. Electronic address:



To evaluate impacts of brief intervention on patients' alcohol risk drinking, quality of life and health state after treatment at the Sobering Unit in the emergency department at three months, six months, and one year follow-up.


This was a quasi-experimental study without control group (one-year follow-up). Alcohol use of patients in emergency department (Sobering Unit) in specialized care in Finland (AUDIT-test), quality of life (EQ-5D-3L) and health state (EQ VAS) at baseline, three months, six months and one year following the brief intervention were analyzed with Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test.


The patients' alcohol risk use decreased statistically significantly after the treatment period at the Sobering Unit. The patients' health-related quality of life did not change statistically significantly during three months following the treatment period, whereas a statistically significant increase took place after six months. Self-perceived health status improved statistically significantly between the treatment period and three- and six-month follow up time points.


The study gave some suggestive evidence that a brief intervention could be effective for harmful drinkers or alcohol-dependent patients when used in an emergency department. The Sobering Unit in the emergency department is one solution to encourage patients to pay attention to their alcohol risk drinking.


Alcohol abuse; Brief intervention; Emergency department; Emergency nursing; Health status; Risk drinking

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