Aim: To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief motivational intervention on alcohol consumption and misuse in young males with alcohol-related face injury.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Oral and maxillofacial surgery out-patient clinic in an urban teaching hospital.
Participants: One hundred and fifty-one participants were randomized to motivational intervention and control conditions.
Interventions: Control was treatment as usual. The intervention was treatment as usual plus a one-session brief motivational intervention administered by a nurse.
Measurements: Three sets of measurements were taken at baseline, 3-month and 1-year follow-up. Collateral measurements were also taken at 1-year follow-up. Primary outcome measures were total alcohol consumption, typical weeks consumption and days abstinent in preceding 3 months. Other outcome measures included the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, a short form of the Alcohol Problems Questionnaire, and a measure of satisfaction with social relationships.
Results: There was a significant decrease in 84-day total alcohol consumption across the year (P < 0.006) and further, a significant effect for the motivational intervention was demonstrated (P < 0.029). This pattern was repeated for days abstinent and alcohol consumption in a typical week as well as alcohol-related problems. There was a significantly greater reduction in the percentage of hazardous drinkers in the motivational intervention group (from 60% to 27%, P < 0.009) compared to the control group (from 54% to 51%, NS).
Conclusion: A proportion of young men change their alcohol consumption following alcohol-related injury. A nurse-led psychological intervention adds significantly to the proportion and magnitude of response.