The Mixed Evidence for Brief Intervention in Emergency Departments, Trauma Care Centers, and Inpatient Hospital Settings: What Should We Do?
Article first published online: 22 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 34, Issue 12, pages 2004–2010, December 2010
How to Cite
Field, C. A., Baird, J., Saitz, R., Caetano, R. and Monti, P. M. (2010), The Mixed Evidence for Brief Intervention in Emergency Departments, Trauma Care Centers, and Inpatient Hospital Settings: What Should We Do?. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 34: 2004–2010. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2010.01297.x
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 22 SEP 2010
- Received for publication January 15, 2010; accepted June 8, 2010.
- Brief Intervention;
- Emergency Departments;
- Inpatient Hospital Settings;
- Trauma Centers
Background: This qualitative review is based on a symposia presented at the 2009 annual conference of the Research Society on Alcoholism (Baird et al., 2009; Field et al., 2009; Monti et al., 2009; Saitz et al., 2009a). The purpose is to describe the mixed evidence supporting brief interventions in the emergency department, trauma care, and in-patient medical care settings; examine potential moderators of treatment outcome in light of the mixed evidence; and identify methods to move the research and practice of brief interventions beyond their current state.
Methods: By drawing upon existing reviews and selected individual studies, we provide examples that reflect the current complexity of research in this area and propose steps for advancing the field.
Results: Emergency departments, inpatient hospital settings, and trauma care settings represent three unique contexts within which brief interventions have been tested. While the general efficacy of brief alcohol interventions in these settings has been recognized, the evidence is increasingly mixed. Recent studies investigating potential moderators of treatment outcomes suggest that a more sophisticated approach to evaluating the effectiveness of brief interventions across varying patient populations is needed to further understand its effectiveness.
Conclusions: Current dissemination efforts represent a significant advance in broadening the base of treatment for alcohol problems by providing an evidence-based intervention in health care settings and should not be curtailed. However, additional research is required to enhance treatment outcomes, refine current practice guidelines, and continue to bridge the gap between science and practice. Given the current state of research, a multisetting clinical trial is recommended to account for potential contextual differences while controlling for study design.