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Brief intervention in an emergency department reduces violence in the short term but not alcohol misuse in at-risk adolescents

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Are brief interventions addressing violence and alcohol misuse in adolescents effective at reducing risk of future injury?


Patients presenting in an emergency department (ED), aged between 14 and 18 years who had reported both alcohol use and aggression (peer aggression, dating aggression or weapon carriage/use) in the preceding year.


Emergency department, Michigan, USA; enrolment September 2006 to September 2009.


Participants were randomised to either therapist brief intervention, a computer-based brief intervention or a control condition (a brochure). All completed a computerised baseline assessment. The computer-based and therapist brief interventions were based on the principles of motivational interviewing but also included normative resetting and alcohol refusal and conflict resolution skills practice. The computer intervention was a stand-alone interactive animated program. An animated character guided participants through the intervention components via audio feedback for the choices made.


Occurrence and frequency of violence (aggression towards peers, …

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  • Sources of funding The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).


  • Competing interests None.

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