Thursday, June 7, 2018

Alcohol Use Intervention in ED Shows Promise in Reducing Dating Violence, Depression

A single motivational interviewing-based brief intervention used in the emergency department to curb underage drinking may also reduce short-term dating violence and depression, according to a study in the June issue of Pediatrics.

For this study, Quyen M. Ngo, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School and colleagues analyzed data collected as part of the U-Connect trial. A total of 836 adolescent patients in the emergency department (aged 14 to 20) who screened positive for risky drinking on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test were randomly assigned to a computer-led brief intervention, a therapist-led brief intervention, or a control group that received “enhanced usual care” (staff reviewed a resource brochure with participants). 

In addition to assessing drinking behaviors at three-, six-, and 12-month follow-ups, the researchers asked the participants about exposure to dating violence (using the modified Conflict in Adolescent Dating Relationships Inventory) and symptoms of depression (using the Brief Symptom Inventory).

At three months, patients who received either computer or therapist brief intervention had a 15% lower incidence rate for depression. At six months, computer brief intervention resulted in a reduction of dating violence perpetration (48% lower than control) and depression symptoms (22% lower than control). At the 12-month follow-up, therapist-led brief intervention resulted in a significant reduction of dating violence perpetration (47% lower than that of the control group).

“Currently, no ED-based alcohol interventions have been tested that are also used to address multiple detrimental outcomes, including dating violence perpetration and depression symptoms,” Ngo and colleagues wrote. “Even when controlling for baseline alcohol consumption, we found that these are notable risk reductions, especially given that the intervention was not explicitly focused on dating violence or depression. … With our findings, we suggest that participating in an alcohol BI [brief intervention] may have a broader impact beyond alcohol consumption, including dating violence and depression secondary outcomes.”

For other information on alcohol use in adolescence, see the American Journal of Psychiatry article “Neural Predictors of Initiating Alcohol Use During Adolescence.”

(Image: iStock/Minerva Studio)


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