Evaluation of an intervention for patients with alcohol-related injuries: results of a mixed methods study

Megan Whitty, Tricia Nagel, Linda Ward, Rama Jayaraj, David Kavanagh

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    Objective: To explore the effect of education and training on the delivery of alcohol screening and brief intervention and referral to high-risk patients in a hospital setting. Main outcome measures included; delivery of training; practice change in relation to staff performing alcohol screening, brief intervention and referrals. Methods: Observational study design using mixed methods set in a tertiary referral hospital. Pre-post assessment of medical records and semi-structured interviews with key informants. Results: Routine screening for substance misuse (9% pre / 71.4% post) and wellbeing concerns (6.6% pre / 15 % post) was more frequent following the introduction of resources and staff participation in educational workshops. There was no evidence of a concomitant increase in delivery of brief intervention or referrals to services. Implementation challenges, including time constraints and staff attitudes, and enablers such as collaboration and visible pathways, were identified. Conclusion: Rates of patient screening increased, however barriers to delivery of brief intervention and referrals remained. Implementation strategies targeting specific barriers and enablers to introducing interventions are both required to improve the application of secondary prevention for patients in acute settings. Implications: Educational training, formalised liaison between services, systematised early intervention protocols, and continuous quality improvement processes will progress service delivery in this area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)216-221
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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