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Review: Screening and intervention for alcohol misuse in emergency rooms reduces alcohol-related injuries

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Alys Havard

Correspondence to: Alys Havard, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia;



What is the evidence for emergency room based interventions for alcohol use?


Frequency or quantity of alcohol consumption, frequency of heavy drinking consumption, and consequences during follow-up (for example, alcohol-related injuries).



Systematic review with meta-analysis.

Data sources:

MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsychINFO, CCTR, DARE, CDSR, ACP Journal Club, Global Health, SWAB, Current Contents Connect and Web of Science, were searched between January 1996 and July 2007.

Study selection and analysis:

Intervention studies published in a peer-reviewed journal examining the effectiveness of emergency room treatment (including counselling, motivational interviewing, pharmacological treatment or advice) on an alcohol-related outcome. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guide to Community Preventative Services Data Collection Instrument criteria and the Cochrane Effective Practise and Organisation of Care Review Group Data Collection Checklist were used to appraise included studies and aid data collection. Only RCTs were pooled in meta-analyses. Standardised mean difference was calculated for continuous outcomes (frequency of alcohol consumption or binge …

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  • web only references 11/3/88


    The criteria used to select participants differed, most studies (10/13 studies) required some evidence of alcohol exposure, and this was assessed in a number of ways, including: blood alcohol concentration >0%; Cut-down, Annoyed, Guilt Eye-opener score 1; Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test score >5; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction definition of hazardous drinking; positive Paddington Alcohol Test score; and self report of consumption in past 6 hours. Most studies did not include people with a high level of intoxication, or people with a diagnosis of alcohol dependence.

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