Determine the efficacy of 3 brief intervention strategies that address heavy drinking among injured patients.
The content or structure of brief interventions most effective at reducing alcohol misuse after traumatic injury is not known.
Injured patients from 3 trauma centers were screened for heavy drinking and randomly assigned to brief advice (n = 200), brief motivational intervention (BMI) (n = 203), or BMI plus a telephone booster using personalized feedback or BMI + B (n = 193). Among those randomly assigned, 57% met criteria for moderate to severe alcohol problems. The primary drinking outcomes were assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months.
Compared with brief advice and BMI, BMI + B showed significant reductions in the number of standard drinks consumed per week at 3 (Δ adjusted means: −1.22, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.99, approximately −1.49, P = 0.01) and 6 months (Δ adjusted means: −1.42, 95% CI: −1.14, approximately −1.76, P = 0.02), percent days of heavy drinking at 6 months (Δ adjusted means: −5.90, 95% CI: −11.40, approximately −0.40, P = 0.04), maximum number of standard drinks consumed in 1 day at 3 (Δ adjusted means: −1.38, 95% CI: −1.18, approximately −1.62, P = 0.003) and 12 months (Δ adjusted means: −1.71, 95% CI: −1.47, approximately −1.99, P = 0.02), and number of standard drinks consumed per drinking day at 3 (Δ adjusted means: −1.49, 95% CI: −1.35, approximately −1.65, P = 0.002) and 6 months (Δ adjusted means: −1.28, 95% CI: −1.17, approximately −1.40, P = 0.01).
Brief interventions based on motivational interviewing with a telephone booster using personalized feedback were most effective at achieving reductions in alcohol intake across the 3 trauma centers.