Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of brief motivational interviewing and an educational brochure when delivered in emergency room to reduce alcohol abuse and related problems among adolescents and young adults.
Method: A randomized single-blind clinical trial with a three-month follow-up was carried out at three emergency rooms from October 2004 to November 2005; subjects assessed were 16-25 years old treated for alcohol related events up to 6 hours after consumption. Socio-demographic data, quantity, frequency and negative consequences of alcohol consumption, motivation to change habits and future risk perception were evaluated. Statistical analysis was performed on subjects who completed follow-up (completers). ANCOVA model was used to analyze the difference between the intervention groups with statistical significance level α = 5% and confidence interval (CI) of 95%.
Results: 186 subjects formed the initial sample, being 175 included and randomized to the educational brochure group (n = 88) or motivational interviewing group (n = 87). Follow-up assessment was performed in 85.2% of the sample. No significant difference between groups was observed. However, significant reductions (p < 0.01) in related problems and alcohol abuse were found in both groups.
Conclusion: In this sample a reduction of alcohol use and related problems was observed. Preliminary data indicate that controlled clinical trials with motivational interviewing, educational brochure and nonintervention should be of future interest among Brazilian adolescent populations.