Brief intervention for harm reduction with alcohol-positive older adolescents in a hospital emergency department

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Dec;67(6):989-94. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.67.6.989.


This study evaluated the use of a brief motivational interview (MI) to reduce alcohol-related consequences and use among adolescents treated in an emergency room (ER) following an alcohol-related event. Patients aged 18 to 19 years (N = 94) were randomly assigned to receive either MI or standard care (SC). Assessment and intervention were conducted in the ER during or after the patient's treatment. Follow-up assessments showed that patients who received the MI had a significantly lower incidence of drinking and driving, traffic violations, alcohol-related injuries, and alcohol-related problems than patients who received SC. Both conditions showed reduced alcohol consumption. The harm-reduction focus of the MI was evident in that MI reduced negative outcomes related to drinking, beyond what was produced by the precipitating event plus SC alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*