Confronting the obstacles to screening and interventions for alcohol problems in trauma centers

J Trauma. 2005 Sep;59(3 Suppl):S137-43; discussion S146-66. doi: 10.1097/01.ta.0000174877.66875.f3.


Despite the demonstrated clinical benefits and decreased risks of injury recurrence, brief alcohol interventions are still not routine practice in trauma centers. Although alcohol and drugs play a significant role in trauma, few trauma specialists are aware of the potential benefits of interventions because alcohol treatment specialists have not widely disseminated their findings to other specialties. This article addresses some key obstacles that must be overcome to facilitate brief interventions as routine trauma practice. Included are discussions on training, cost and reimbursement factors, responsibility of the trauma surgeon, patient privacy and confidentiality issues, insurance laws and regulations, needed collaboration with partners, and research priorities and funding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / complications
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Counseling
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / economics
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Mass Screening
  • Patient Rights
  • Physician's Role
  • Professional Practice
  • Research
  • Trauma Centers
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*