Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Investigating the effect of Alcohol Brief Interventions within Accident & Emergency departments using data informatics methodology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABI) have been implemented throughout Scotland since 2008 aiming to reduce hazardous drinking through a Scottish government funded initiative delivered in a range of setting including Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments.

Purpose: To study the extent to Alcohol Brief Interventions (ABI) is associated with later health service use.

Method: An opportunistic informatics approach was applied. A unique patient identifier was used to link patient data with core datasets spanning two years previous and two years post ABI. Variables included inpatient attendance, outpatient attendance, psychiatric admissions, A&E attendance and prescribing. Patients (N = 1704) who presented at A&E departments reported an average alcohol consumption of more than 8 units daily received the ABI. Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST) was used to assess patients for hazardous alcohol consumption. Multilevel linear modelling was employed to predict post-intervention utilisation using pre-ABI variables and controlling for person characteristics and venue.

Results: Significant decrease in A&E usage was found at one and two years following the ABI intervention. Previous health service use was predictive of later service use. A single question (Item 4) on the FAST was predictive of A&E attendance at one and two years.

Conclusions:  This investigation and methodology used provides support for the delivery of the ABI. However it cannot be ascertained as to whether this is due to the ABI, or simply as a result of making contact with a specialist in the addiction field.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Early online date30 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Alcohol Brief Intervention , Screening , Informatics

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Engagement in the Overdose RIsk InfOrmatioN (ORION) e-Health tool for opioid overdose prevention and self-efficacy: a preliminary study

    Carrà, G., Crocamo, C., Humphris, G. M., Tabacchi, T., Francesco, B., Neufeind, J., Scherbaum, N. & Baldacchino, A. M., 1 Dec 2017, In : Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 20, 12, p. 762-768

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Engagement in an e-Health Tool (ORION) predicts opioid-dependent patient likelihood of behavioural change

    Humphris, G. M., Carra, G., Frisher, M., Neufeind, J., Cecil, J. E., Scherbaum, N., Crome, I. & Baldacchino, A. M., Oct 2017, In : Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems. 19, 5, p. 35-44 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Neuropsychological functioning and chronic methadone use: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Baldacchino, A., Armanyous, M., Balfour, D. J. K., Humphris, G. & Matthews, K., Feb 2017, In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 73, p. 23-38

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  4. Decision support in addiction: the development of an e-health tool to assess and prevent risk of fatal overdose. The ORION project

    Baldacchino, A., Crocamo, C., Humphris, G., Neufeind, J., Frisher, M. & Carrà, G., 1 Sep 2016, In : Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine. 133, p. 207-216 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Electronic communication based interventions for hazardous young drinkers: a systematic review

    O'Rourke, L., Humphris, G. & Baldacchino, A., Sep 2016, In : Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 68, p. 880-890 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. Association between depression and non-fatal overdoses among drug users: a systematic review and meta-analysis

    Bartoli, F., Carrà, G., Brambilla, G., Carretta, D., Crocamo, C., Neufeind, J., Baldacchino, A. M., Humphris, G. M. & Clerici, M., 1 Jan 2014, In : Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 134, p. 12-21 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder in a substance misusing clinical population

    Reynolds, M., Mezey, G., Chapman, M., Wheeler, M. & Baldacchino, A. M., 7 Mar 2005, In : Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 77, 3, p. 251-258 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 252523513