Excessive alcohol consumption is a public health concern that causes approximately 85,000 deaths each year and costs the U.S. economy $185 billion annually. Because the large majority (79%) of adults with alcohol disorders are employed and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are resources in 75% of U.S. businesses, EAPs are uniquely positioned to address this public health concern. Unfortunately, EAPs currently identify and treat very few workers who have alcohol use problems. Over the last 8 years, two of the Co-Investigators on this proposal have sought to change this by facilitating the creation of the EAP Brief Intervention Group (BIG) Initiative. The BIG initiative brings together the major EAP corporate leaders, the EAP clinical professional associations, and others, for the express purpose of making alcohol screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT), when appropriate, the routine practice across the EAP industry. There is an extensive body of research that demonstrates the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol SBIRT. In collaboration with our BIG initiative EAP vendors and clinical professional associations, we propose to develop and evaluate an interactive multimedia (IMM) competency-based training program about alcohol use problems that is designed for EAP practitioners. The program will be designed for application as a stand-alone web-based training program. The proposed program will adapt the evidence-based material from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to specifically address the worksite-related EAP practice environment and that of allied clinical professionals. When completed after Phase 2, the full program will include two sub-programs. One will focus on training call-center practitioners and the other will train face-to- face clinicians. Each sub-program will have 12 training modules. Phase 1 will develop and evaluate a screening and brief intervention for call-center application and will include 5 of the 12 modules. The remaining modules of both sub-programs will be completed in Phase 2. The Phase 1 prototype program will be evaluated in a pretest-to-post test within-subject design (N = 40). Because our BIG initiative partners see the critical need for this product and are committed to implementing it in their EAPs and allied organizations, the market to ensure the commercial success of this product is clearly in place.
Excessive alcohol consumption is a significant public health concern that costs the U.S. economy $185 billion annually. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) are uniquely positioned to address this public health concern through the screening of employees for problem alcohol use and the delivery of a brief intervention. This project will develop and evaluate an interactive multimedia competency-based training program for EAP practitioners to deliver routine screening of clients for problem alcohol use and the provision of a brief intervention or referral, when appropriate.