Referral to treatment for hospitalized medical patients with an alcohol use disorder: A proof-of-concept brief intervention study

Soc Work Health Care. May-Jun 2017;56(5):321-334. doi: 10.1080/00981389.2017.1299073. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Substance misuse intervention in healthcare settings is becoming a US national priority, especially in the dissemination and implementation of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). Yet, the referral to treatment component of SBIRT is understudied. This proof-of-concept investigation tested an enhanced coordinated hospital-community two session brief intervention designed to facilitate the referral to treatment of hospitalized medical patients with an alcohol use disorder. Participants (N = 9) attended the second session of the brief intervention held in the community in most cases (56%), while one out of three (33%) received some level of post-brief intervention alcohol and/or other drug treatment. Alcohol use and alcohol-related problems also statistically improved. Based, in part, on the results plus the widespread dissemination of SBIRT, next step investigations of brief interventions to help bridge hospitalized medical patients in need to community substance abuse treatment are warranted.

Keywords: Alcohol; hospital and community; psychosocial intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, Urban / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Inpatients / psychology*
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Proof of Concept Study
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / methods*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / organization & administration
  • United States