Alcohol Use at the Time of Traumatic Brain Injury: Screening and Brief Intervention in a Community Hospital

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The use of screening and brief interventions (SBI) has been proposed to reduce future alcohol misuse and injury in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients. As a result a SBI protocol for TBI patients was introduced with nursing training at a community hospital. In the 2 years following the implementation of a SBI protocol and nursing training, the number of patients with positive alcohol results decreased. The number of brief interventions increased to 83 (40.1%, 95% confidence limit [CL] = 33.4, 46.8), and CAGE questionnaire screenings decreased to 88 (42.5%, 95% CL = 35.8, 49.2), with 31 (35.2%) having positive results. These results highlight the need to assess processes and training in the emergency department to ensure that SBIs occur.

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