A pilot study of bibliotherapy to reduce alcohol problems among patients in a hospital trauma center

Timothy R. Apodaca, William R. Miller, Carol R. Schermer, Paul C. Amrhein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Because alcohol use plays a major role in many injuries that require hospital care, there is increasing interest in developing interventions to address alcohol problems among emergency department and trauma center patients. The aim of the current study was to extend past research on brief interventions by investigating the use of a self-help manual to treat problem drinkers in a hospital trauma center. Forty injured patients who were either intoxicated at the time of injury or screened positive for harmful drinking were randomly assigned to receive either a brief assessment and a self-help booklet with no more than 5 minutes clinician contact (bibliotherapy) or brief assessment only. Follow-up data obtained five months after hospital discharge indicated that patients in both conditions made significant reductions in drinking and associated negative consequences. There was a trend toward further treatment-seeking among those in the bibliotherapy condition (40% versus 13%). Results suggest that the provision of self-help materials to treat problem drinkers identified in a hospital trauma setting may not bring about behavior change beyond that observed following hospitalization and an assessment of drinking. Caution in the interpretation of results is warranted due to the small sample size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Addictions Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitals
  • Self-help Techniques


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