Linkages between alcohol use and HIV/sexual risk behaviors have been observed in multiple groups and each behavior has been successfully treated individually. Indeed, some studies suggest these behaviors can be successfully treated together. The Emergency Department (ED) provides a venue through which many patients with multiple risks are treated. Yet, to date no study has addressed these behaviors together in an ED, where admission may represent an opportunistic moment when patients are particularly willing to discuss these risky behaviors. Motivational Interviewing (MI) has demonstrated promise with alcohol risk in the ED in several of our previous studies, and has shown promise with sexual risk populations as well. Accordingly, this study (N=302) will address whether a two session multiple risk MI can more effectively decrease and maintain reduction in alcohol use, alcohol related problems, and sexual risk taking following discharge from the ED than Brief Advice (BA). Baseline, MI Session 1 and BA will be administered in the ED. MI Session 2 will occur 7- 10 days following MI Session 1. Follow-ups will be conducted at 3, 6 and 12 months. This proposal will allow us to address the next phase of our program of research that has been designed to develop easily disseminable treatments for high-risk populations in medical settings. This study will also address potential mediators (motivation to change risk taking, self-efficacy) of MI effects. We will also examine whether reductions in sexual risk associated with MI compared to BA are accounted for by reduced drinking. A tertiary aim will examine the moderating effect of co-occurring substance use on outcomes. The cost-effectiveness of the interventions will also be addressed. Thus, this study will address two significant Public Health problems and provide significant information about MI mechanisms that may be relevant to the treatment community.
This brief alcohol and sexual risk taking intervention has the potential to influence the public health by reducing alcohol use and sexual risk taking behavior in individuals who are seeking treatment in an Emergency Department.
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