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Volume 10 Supplement 2

INEBRIA 12th Congress,

  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Brief motivational intervention for adolescents treated in emergency departments for acute alcohol intoxication - a randomized-controlled trial

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 1
Addiction Science & Clinical Practice201510 (Suppl 2) :O14

  • Published:


  • Emergency Department
  • Alcohol Intoxication
  • Major Public Health Concern
  • Motivational Intervention
  • Acute Alcohol Intoxication


Rising numbers of adolescents receiving emergency medical treatment due to acute alcohol intoxication have been a major public health concern in a range of European countries in recent years. Brief interventions addressing this target population have been introduced in a number of emergency departments with the aim to reduce alcohol-related harm. The “HaLT-Hamburg” trial evaluated effectiveness of a manualized brief motivational intervention addressing under 18 year-olds following alcohol intoxication in this setting. To our knowledge, we are the first to evaluate a brief intervention for the special target group of adolescents with acute alcohol intoxication in a randomized-controlled design.

Material and methods

The trial design is a parallel two-arm cluster randomized-controlled trial with follow-up assessment after 3 and 6 months[1]. Children and adolescents with the diagnosis acute alcohol intoxication (ICD-10 F10.0) were recruited in 6 urban emergency departments over a period of 30 months. Intervention condition was a manual-based brief motivational intervention with a telephone booster after 6 weeks and a manual-guided intervention for caregivers. Control condition was treatment as usual (information leaflet). Primary outcomes were reduction in binge drinking episodes, quantity of alcohol use on a typical drinking day and alcohol-related problems (RAPI). Linear mixed models adjusted for baseline differences were conducted according to intention-to-treat (ITT) and completers (per-protocol) principles to examine intervention effects.


N = 316 adolescents with a mean age of 15.8 years (SD = 1.16) were included in the study. Both conditions resulted in reduced binge drinking episodes, quantity of alcohol use on a typical drinking day and alcohol-related problems at 3 month follow-up and stayed at a low rate at 6 month follow-up.


Intervention effects and subgroup analyses will be presented and clinical implications for the delivery of brief interventions to adolescents with acute alcohol intoxication will be discussed.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN31234060.



The trial was a sub-project of psychenet - the Hamburg Network for Mental Health[2] which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) (Ref: 01KQ1002B) and aims at strengthening health care regions in Germany by establishing new transsectoral cooperations and implement and evaluate selected innovations. Further information and a list of all project partners can be found at

Authors’ Affiliations

German Center for Addiction Research in Childhood and Adolescence, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany


  1. Diestelkamp S, Arnaud N, Sack PM, Wartberg L, Daubmann A, Thomasius R: Brief Motivational Intervention for Adolescents Treated for Acute Alcohol Intoxication in the Emergency Department - a Randomized-Controlled Trial. BMC Emerg Med. 2014, 14: 13-10.1186/1471-227X-14-13.PubMed CentralView ArticlePubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Harter M, Kentgens M, Brandes A, Bock T, Dirmaier J, Erzberger M, Furstenberg W, Hillebrandt B, Karow A, Von Dem Knesebeck O, Konig H-H, Lowe B, Meyer H-J, Romer G, Rouhiainen T, Scherer M, Thomasius R, Watzke B, Wegscheider K, Lambert M: Rationale and content of psychenet: The Hamburg network for mental health. Eur Arch Psy Clin N. 2012, 262 (2): S57-S63.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Diestelkamp et al. 2015

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.