Table of Contents
Craig Field, Ph.D.
assistant professor of health promotion and behavioral sciences,SPH, Dallas Regional Campus
Research Work: Brief Alcohol Intervention with Injured Patients
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that nearly 75,000 deaths a year in the United States are due to excessive alcohol use in the form of either heavy drinking or binge drinking, and often leads to a greater risk of unintended injuries. In fact, the CDC also reports that, in 2003 alone, there were more than two million hospitalizations and more than four million emergency room visits for alcohol-related conditions.
What can be done to reduce the impact of alcohol-related injuries for the patients who end up in emergency departments and trauma care centers?
Psychologist Craig Field, Ph.D., is exploring how brief motivational interventions with injured patients work to encourage behavior modification.
“My primary research interest is the use of brief alcohol interventions in the medical setting,” he said.
Field has extensive training in motivational interviewing, which he applies in his brief interventions with injured patients in the ER. In “Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy,” authors William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick define motivational interviewing as “a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients to explore and resolve ambivalence.”
Field said a brief intervention typically lasts about 30 minutes or less and is “essentially a conversation with the patient about their drinking and what they would like to see change.”
Brief interventions in the trauma care setting have been shown to reduce alcohol use and risk of future injury.
“There are several clinical trials, which suggest these types of interventions are helpful for patients and society,” Field said. “Patients significantly reduce their drinking and related high-risk behavior. As a result, they are injured less often in the future, and they are less likely to be arrested for driving while intoxicated. For every dollar spent screening and conducting interventions in the trauma center, $3.81 is saved in subsequent heath care cost related to future injury.”
The goal of Field’s work is to effect a change in the patient’s behavior, which subsequently will lead to reduced alcohol related injuries.
“I want to find the most effective and efficient means of reducing the impact of alcohol misuse and its individual and social consequences in the context of medical settings, such as the trauma center or emergency department,” Field said. “That means understanding how and why people change after such a serious event in their lives. If we can understand that, we may be able to quicken the process of behavior change with respect not only to addictive behavior but other chronic illnesses.”
Previous story Next story