Bridging Disciplinary Boundaries (January 11 - 14, 2007)
Method: ED patients (1, 104) meeting the National Institutes of Health criteria for at-risk drinking were recruited from 14 sites nationwide from April to August 2004. Control group patients received a written handout. Intervention group patients received the handout and participated in a 15 minute negotiated interview with direct referral for treatment if indicated. Follow-up surveys were conducted 3, 6 and 12 months by telephone IVR system.
Preliminary Results: At 3 months, patients receiving the intervention reported significantly lower levels of “typical number of drinks per week” and “maximum number of drinks per occasion”, controlling for baseline drinking levels. Benefits of brief intervention were confined to those with at-risk drinking rather than dependant drinking patterns, as measured by the CAGE.
Implications for practice: This study demonstrates the effectiveness of SBIRT in the ED setting. According the to 2004 Annual Hospital survey conducted by the American Hospital Association, 84% of reporting hospitals have organized social worker services. Due to their training in behavioral health and their knowledge of community substance abuse treatment programs, social workers are uniquely qualified to deliver screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment for patien