Preventing injuries through interventions for problem drinking: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Tho Dinh-Zarr, Carolyn Diguiseppi, Elizabeth Heitman, Ian Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


To assess the effect of treatment of problem drinking on injury risk, we conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials by searching 12 computerized databases, cross-checking bibliographies, and contacting authors and governmental agencies. We identified 19 trials of interventions for problem drinking that measured injury outcomes, Treatment for problem drinking was associated with reduced suicide attempts, domestic violence, falls, drinking-related injuries, and injury hospitalizations and deaths, with reductions ranging from 27 to 65%. Interventions among convicted drunk drivers reduced motor vehicle crashes and injuries. The precision of all the point estimates was low, however. We did not combine the results quantitatively, because the inteventions, patient populations, and outcomes were so heterogeneous. The results suggest that treatment for problem drinking may reduce injuries and their antecedents. Because injuries account for much of the morbidity and mortality from problem drinking, further studies are warranted to confirm these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 17 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this