Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Abstract

Objective

Emergency Departments (EDs) offer an opportunity to improve the care of patients with at-risk and dependent drinking by teaching staff to screen, perform brief intervention and refer to treatment (SBIRT). We describe here the implementation at 14 Academic EDs of a structured SBIRT curriculum to determine if this learning experience improves provider beliefs and practices.

Methods

ED faculty, residents, nurses, physician extenders, social workers, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) were surveyed prior to participating in either a two hour interactive workshops with case simulations, or a web-based program (www.ed.bmc.org/sbirt). A pre-post repeated measures design assessed changes in provider beliefs and practices at three and 12 months post-exposure.

Results

Among 402 ED providers, 74% reported < 10 hours of prior professional alcohol-related education and 78% had < 2 hours exposure in the previous year. At 3-month follow-up, scores for self-reported confidence in ability, responsibility to intervene, and actual utilization of SBIRT skills all improved significantly over baseline. Gains decreased somewhat at 12 months, but remained above baseline. Length of time in practice was positively associated with SBIRT utilization, controlling for gender, race and type of profession. Persistent barriers included time limitations and lack of referral resources.

Conclusions

ED providers respond favorably to SBIRT. Changes in utilization were substantial at three months post-exposure to a standardized curriculum, but less apparent after 12 months. Booster sessions, trained assistants and infrastructure supports may be needed to sustain changes over the longer term

Comments

Subst Abus. Author manuscript; available in PMC Apr 6, 2014. Published in final edited form as: Subst Abus. 2007; 28(4): 79–92. doi: 10.1300/J465v28n04_01 PMCID: PMC3976968 NIHMSID: NIHMS193448

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