Practical guidelines for performing alcohol interventions in trauma centers

Chris W. Dunn, Dennis M. Donovan, Larry M. Gentilello

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Nearly 50% of trauma patients are injured while under the influence of alcohol however, addressing alcohol problems is not considered a routine component of trauma care. A public health approach to trauma prevention should include attention to underlying risk factors in the same way that advice regarding smoking cessation is offered in adult respiratory medicine clinics, and blood pressure, cholesterol, dietary, and exercise advice is provided in coronary care units. The Department of Health and Human Services, in its recent report to Congress, stated that efforts to reduce death and disability from injuries must be combined with efforts to reduce alcohol abuse, and called for an increase in the use of alcohol interventions in trauma patients. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the responsibility to provide counseling for patients with uncomplicated cases of mild to moderate alcohol abuse lies not with specialized alcohol treatment centers, but with physicians and other health care staff in general hospital settings trained to provide brief interventions. This paper provides practical guidelines for the administration of alcohol interventions that are suitable for trauma center use, and that have documented efficacy in reducing alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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