Aim: The aim of the study was to explore the evidence base on alcohol screening and brief intervention for adolescents to determine age appropriate screening tools, effective brief interventions and appropriate locations to undertake these activities.
Methods: A review of existing reviews (2003-2013) and a systematic review of recent research not included in earlier reviews.
Results: The CRAFFT and AUDIT tools are recommended for identification of 'at risk' adolescents. Motivational interventions delivered over one or more sessions and based in health care or educational settings are effective at reducing levels of consumption and alcohol-related harm.
Conclusion: Further research to develop age appropriate screening tools needs to be undertaken. Screening and brief intervention activity should be undertaken in settings where young people are likely to present; further assessment at such venues as paediatric emergency departments, sexual health clinics and youth offending teams should be evaluated. The use of electronic (web/smart-phone based) screening and intervention shows promise and should also be the focus of future research.