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Randomised controlled trial
A brief intervention by emergency department providers decreased 12 month alcohol use
  1. Michael J Mello1,
  2. Richard Longabaugh2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  2. 2Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Michael Mello
    Department of Emergency Medicine, Brown University, 55 Claverick Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA; mjmello{at}

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Emergency department (ED) patients have a high prevalence of alcohol use problems making it potentially an opportune setting to intervene. Brief interventions for alcohol misuse have demonstrated efficacy in other medical settings, but within the ED it has been less clear.1 ,2 The study by D'Onofrio and colleagues provides additional insights into this question. This randomised controlled trial at a single urban academic ED evaluated whether a brief intervention for alcohol, with or without a booster intervention, decreases 7-day alcohol use and 28-day binge use (ie, greater than four drinks per occasion for men and three drinks for women) 12 months later.


The study randomised 889 adult ED patients who screened positive for hazardous or harmful drinking to receive either (1) a brief negotiation interview (BNI), (2) …

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  • Competing interests None.