Trauma Center Brief Alcohol Treatment and Cost Effectiveness

The prevalence of alcohol use disorders among people hospitalized for trauma far exceeds that in the general population, making trauma centers a promising venue for brief alcohol treatment interventions to reduce future alcohol-related harm and related costs. Optimal approaches for such intervention are unclear, but two strategies appear promising: motivational interviewing (MI) and brief physician advice. MI is a general health behavior change counseling method, requiring significant time and training to establish proficiency. A simpler option in a hospital setting after acute injury is brief advice from the trauma surgeon treating the injured patient. The proposed study will evaluate these two different strategies (specialist MI counseling and brief physician advice) and compare them with standard care at a Level I Trauma Center using a randomized clinical trial with 375 trauma patients. The overall aim of the study is to determine whether these two distinct, readily implemented models can reduce alcohol use and related harm and costs in trauma patients with alcohol disorders.

Principal Investigator: Sally C. Stearns, Ph.D.

Funding Source: National Institute on Alcohol Buse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), NIH (subcontract with Loyola University of Chicago)

Total Project Period: 7/06 – 7/12