Author(s): Lapham SC, Skipper BJ, Brown P, Chadbunchachai W, Suriyawongpaisal P,
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Abstract AIMS: To determine prevalence rates of alcohol problems among emergency room patients. DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional survey including patient interviews and record reviews. The questionnaire included the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test to screen for hazardous or harmful alcohol use (alcohol problems). It also contained questions regarding the chief complaint and factors precipitating the admission. SETTING: Emergency rooms of three regional hospitals in Thailand. PARTICIPANTS: Consecutive emergency room admissions aged 14 and older, admitted from 18.00-02.00 h. FINDINGS: Risk factors for alcohol problems included male gender, age 20-49, higher monthly income, less than university graduate education status and admission to the northeast regional ER. Among non-trauma patients, those with alcohol-related diagnoses and certain gastrointestinal disorders had the highest rates of alcohol problems. Patients with transportation injuries were twice as likely, and those with assault-, fall-, or burn-related injuries were at least three times more likely to screen positive compared to the non-injured comparison group. The estimated overall prevalence rate of alcohol problems for this population, adjusted for age and diagnostic classification, was 0.39 for males and 0.08 for females. CONCLUSION: Especially among patients with specified diagnoses, the emergency room is an ideal setting for implementing alcohol screening and intervention programmes in Thailand.
This article was published in Addiction
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy