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Brief motivational interviewing intervention for peer violence and alcohol use in teens one-year follow-up.

In: Pediatrics. Vol. 129, no. 6 (June 2012), p. 1083 -1090.

Authors: Rebecca M. Cunningham, Stephen T. Chermack, Marc A. Zimmerman, Jean T. Shope, C. Raymond Bingham, Frederic C. Blow, and Maureen A. Walton.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Emergency department (ED) visits present an opportunity to deliver brief interventions (BIs) to reduce violence and alcohol misuse among urban adolescents at risk for future injury. Previous analyses demonstrated that a BI resulted in reductions in violence and alcohol consequences up to 6 months. This article describes findings examining the efficacy of BIs on peer violence and alcohol misuse at 12 months. METHODS: Patients (14-18 years of age) at an ED reporting past year alcohol use and aggression were enrolled in the randomized control trial, which included computerized assessment, random assignment to control group or BI delivered by a computer or therapist assisted by a computer. The main outcome measures (at baseline and 12 months) included violence (peer aggression, peer victimization, violence-related consequences) and alcohol (alcohol misuse, binge drinking, alcohol-related consequences). RESULTS: A total of 3338 adolescents were screened (88% participation). Of those, 726 screened positive for violence and alcohol use and were randomly selected; 84% completed 12-month follow-up. In comparison with the control group, the therapist assisted by a computer group showed significant reductions in peer aggression (P < .01) and peer victimization (P < .05) at 12 months. BI and control groups did not differ on alcohol-related variables at 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of the SafERteens intervention 1 year after an ED visit provides support for the efficacy of computer-assisted therapist brief intervention for reducing peer violence.