Send email for updates


About updates
Research analysis

This entry is our analysis of a study added to the Effectiveness Bank. The original study was not published by Findings; click Title to order a copy. Free reprints may be available from the authors – click prepared e-mail. Links to other documents. Hover over for notes. Click to highlight passage referred to. Unfold extra text Unfold supplementary text The Summary conveys the findings and views expressed in the study.

Title and link for copying Comment/query to editor

The effectiveness of brief intervention among injured patients with alcohol dependence: who benefits from brief interventions?

Field C.A., Caetano R.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 2010, 111, p. 13–20.
Unable to obtain a copy by clicking title? Try asking the author for a reprint by adapting this prepared e-mail or by writing to Dr Field at craig.field@austin.utexas.edu.

At a US emergency department, a brief conversation about the pros and cons of their risky drinking and offers of support for any efforts to reduce harm curbed drinking among alcohol-dependent patients; non-dependent patients tended to do better with assessment and usual care only.

Summary Background Research investigating the differential effectiveness of brief motivational interventions (BMIs) among alcohol-dependent and non-dependent patients in the medical setting is limited. Clinical guidelines suggest that BMI is most appropriate for patients with less severe alcohol problems. As a result, most studies evaluating the effectiveness of BMI have excluded patients with an indication of alcohol dependence.

Methods A randomised controlled trial of brief intervention in the trauma care setting comparing BMI to treatment as usual plus assessment (TAU+) was conducted. Alcohol dependence status was determined for 1336 patients using DSM-IV diagnostic criteria. The differential effectiveness of BMI among alcohol-dependent and non-dependent patients was determined with regard to volume per week, maximum amount consumed, per cent days abstinent, and alcohol problems at six- and 12-month follow-ups. In addition, the effects of BMI on dependence status at six and 12 months were determined.

Results There was a consistent interaction between BMI and alcohol dependence status which indicated significantly higher reductions in volume per week at six- and 12-month follow-ups and in maximum amount at six months, a significant increase In original abstract "decreases". But the main text says: "Patients with alcohol dependence who received BMI reported an additional 25.6 days abstinent in comparison to patients with alcohol dependence who were assigned to TAU+ (65.7 days abstinent and 40.15 days abstinent, respectively)." in per cent days abstinent at 12 months and a decrease in alcohol problems at 12 months among patients with alcohol dependence receiving BMI. In addition, patients with alcohol dependence at baseline who received BMI were 0.59 times less likely to meet criteria for alcohol dependence at six months.

Conclusions These findings suggest that BMI is more beneficial among patients with alcohol dependence who screen positive for an alcohol-related injury than those whose drinking is risky but who are not dependent.

For other reports on this trial see these Findings entries: Ethnic differences in drinking outcomes following a brief alcohol intervention in the trauma care setting; The role of ethnic matching between patient and provider on the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions with Hispanics.

Last revised 20 January 2011

Comment/query to editor
Give us your feedback on the site (one-minute survey)
Open Effectiveness Bank home page
Add your name to the mailing list to be alerted to new studies and other site updates


Top 10 most closely related documents on this site. For more try a subject or free text search

STUDY 2010 The role of ethnic matching between patient and provider on the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions with Hispanics

STUDY 2012 Alcohol screening and brief intervention in emergency departments

STUDY 2010 Ethnic differences in drinking outcomes following a brief alcohol intervention in the trauma care setting

STUDY 2014 A multisite randomized controlled trial of brief intervention to reduce drinking in the trauma care setting: how brief is brief?

STUDY 2014 The effectiveness of alcohol screening and brief intervention in emergency departments: a multicentre pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial

STUDY 2010 Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT): 12-month outcomes of a randomized controlled clinical trial in a Polish emergency department

STUDY 2011 Brief interventions in dependent drinkers: a comparative prospective analysis in two hospitals

STUDY 2010 The impact of screening, brief intervention and referral for treatment in emergency department patients' alcohol use: a 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up

STUDY 2012 Alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary health care

STUDY 2013 Effectiveness of screening and brief alcohol intervention in primary care (SIPS trial): pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial