Study Protocol: Screening and Treatment of Alcohol-Related Trauma (START) - a randomised controlled trial

Rama Jayaraj, Mahiban Thomas, David Kavanagh, Peter D'Abbs, Luke John Mayo, Valerie Thompson, Carolyn Mary Griffin, Tricia Nagel

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    Background: The incidence of mandibular fractures in the Northern Territory of Australia is very high, especially among Indigenous people. Alcohol intoxication is implicated in the majority of facial injuries, and substance use is therefore an important target for secondary prevention. The current study tests the efficacy of a brief therapy, Motivational Care Planning, in improving wellbeing and substance misuse in youth and adults hospitalised with alcohol-related facial trauma. 

    Methods and design: 
    The study is a randomised controlled trial with 6 months of follow-up, to examine the effectiveness of a brief and culturally adapted intervention in improving outcomes for trauma patients with at-risk drinking admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital maxillofacial surgery unit. Potential participants are identified using AUDIT-C questionnaire. Eligible participants are randomised to either Motivational Care Planning (MCP) or Treatment as Usual (TAU). The outcome measures will include quantity and frequency of alcohol and other substance use by Timeline Followback. The recruitment target is 154 participants, which with 20% dropout, is hoped to provide 124 people receiving treatment and follow-up.

    This project introduces screening and brief interventions for high-risk drinkers admitted to the hospital with facial trauma. It introduces a practical approach to integrating brief interventions in the hospital setting, and has potential to demonstrate significant benefits for at-risk drinkers with facial trauma.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number371
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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