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The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been endorsed by the ANZCTR. Before participating in a study, talk to your health care provider and refer to this information for consumers
Trial registered on ANZCTR

Registration number
Ethics application status
Date submitted
Date registered
Date last updated
Type of registration
Prospectively registered

Titles & IDs
Public title
Emergency Department Screening and Brief Interventions for Heavy and Hazardous use of substances: A feasibility study.
Scientific title
A feasibility study of Emergency Department patient screening and brief intervention for heavy and hazardous use of substances (alcohol and other drugs)
Secondary ID [1] 285458 0
Universal Trial Number (UTN)
Trial acronym
Linked study record

Health condition
Health condition(s) or problem(s) studied:
Heavy and hazardous use of alcohol and or other drugs 293232 0
Condition category
Condition code
Mental Health 293501 293501 0 0
Other mental health disorders
Public Health 293578 293578 0 0
Health service research

Study type
Description of intervention(s) / exposure
Administering a screening for substance use and if patient screens at high risk of substance use disorder a nurse administers a 3-10 minute counselling session.
The questionnaire is an independently validated existing tool called Alcohol Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) in a shortened version most appropriate for the busy Emergency Department (ED) setting, called ASSIST-Lite. Questions are about use of selected substances within the past 3 months. ASSIST-Lite is a one page written questionnaire that the patient can fill out themselves. It will be handed out and collected by a Registered Nurse (RN). The counselling is motivational interviewing aimed at reducing use, it is a single stand alone session requiring no follow up for the patient.
Intervention code [1] 290391 0
Early detection / Screening
Intervention code [2] 290392 0
Intervention code [3] 290448 0
Comparator / control treatment
Nil, feasibility study not effectiveness study.
Control group

Primary outcome [1] 293322 0
Number of eligible patients who complete ASSIST-Lite screening. To be assessed through an audit of the patients charts.
Timepoint [1] 293322 0
one month after the start of the study
Primary outcome [2] 293390 0
Number of patients who screen at risk of harmful substance use who receive an intervention. Risk score is different for different substances and is a score of either 2 or 3 depending on substance, the intervention is provided for the persons highest scoring substance if any score above 2 or 3. The intervention is a 3-15 minute motivational interviewing session aimed at reducing substance use. Outcome will be assessed by an audit of the patient charts for qualitative data (how often is the screening and intervention happening).
Timepoint [2] 293390 0
one month after the start of the study
Secondary outcome [1] 310795 0
Nurses feeling that Screening and Brief Intervention can be provided in the future.
Participating nurses will be interviewed in a face to face structured individual interviews conducted by the primary investigator, that will be transcribed and analysed thematically.
Timepoint [1] 310795 0
6 months after the completion of the trial period

Key inclusion criteria
Patients at Waitakere hospital Emergency Dept in Waiting, Consults, Acutes and Monitored areas who are medically fit in the professional opinion of RN, Doctor or Mental Health Nurse as appropriate. Ages 18-80.
There are 2 participant groups: nurses and patients. Nurses are volunteers, selected to give a cross section of ED staff but must have at least 1 yr ED experience. Patients are a convenience sample of eligible patients who present and are cared for by a participating nurse and who agree to participate.
Minimum age
18 Years
Maximum age
80 Years
Both males and females
Can healthy volunteers participate?
Key exclusion criteria
Emotional distress, Mentally unwell (unless MH nurse/doctor thinks it is in the best interest of the patient), chest pain, shortness of breath, life threatening condition, severe or moderate pain, cognitive impairment, any condition that makes patient unable to give informed consent. Language barrier.

Study design
Purpose of the study
Educational / counselling / training
Allocation to intervention
Non-randomised trial
Procedure for enrolling a subject and allocating the treatment (allocation concealment procedures)
Methods used to generate the sequence in which subjects will be randomised (sequence generation)
non randomised trial
Masking / blinding
Open (masking not used)
Who is / are masked / blinded?

Intervention assignment
Single group
Other design features
Qualitative study design
Type of endpoint(s)
Statistical methods / analysis
Descriptive stats for numerical data (how often screening/intervention is done), and thematic analysis for interviews of nurses post trial month about their experiences.

Recruitment status
Active, not recruiting
Date of first participant enrolment
Date of last participant enrolment
Date of last data collection
Sample size
Accrual to date
Recruitment outside Australia
Country [1] 6398 0
New Zealand
State/province [1] 6398 0

Funding & Sponsors
Funding source category [1] 290066 0
Self funded/Unfunded
Name [1] 290066 0
Address [1] 290066 0
Country [1] 290066 0
Primary sponsor type
Kylie Travers
Waitakere Hospital, Lincoln Road, Henderson, Auckland 0610.
New Zealand
Secondary sponsor category [1] 288755 0
Name [1] 288755 0
Address [1] 288755 0
Country [1] 288755 0

Ethics approval
Ethics application status
Ethics committee name [1] 291770 0
Health and Disability Ethics Committee (HDEC)
Ethics committee address [1] 291770 0
Ethics committee country [1] 291770 0
New Zealand
Date submitted for ethics approval [1] 291770 0
Approval date [1] 291770 0
Ethics approval number [1] 291770 0

Brief summary
The misuse of substances (alcohol and other drugs) is a major health issue in New Zealand. In 2007/8 5.4% of all deaths in persons aged less than 80 years old were attributed to alcohol consumption. The use of other drugs is also a substantial problem with harmful effects including addiction, physical and mental health problems and financial and social harm. The use of substances brings people repeatedly to the emergency Department (ED) however usually nothing is done to address the problem. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) is the process of asking screening questions about substance use then if indicated providing motivational counselling aimed at reducing use. SBI has been shown by many studies to reduce substance use and to be effective in the (adult) Emergency Department. No research has been done on the feasibility of providing SBI in an NZ ED, and the proposed research aims to investigate this. Eight Registered Nurses (RNs) will be trained to provide SBI, and for a period of one month all their patients between ages 18 and 80 (who fit medical inclusion criteria) will be given a written screening form and if indicated receive a brief intervention (counselling) from the RN. After the trial period, the charts will be reviewed to see how often the components of SBI were done, and the nurses will be interviewed about their experience. If SBI can be provided using existing staff it could be a cost effective health measure, and reduce ED utilisation.
Trial website
Trial related presentations / publications
Public notes

Principal investigator
Name 51954 0
Miss kylie Travers
Address 51954 0
Waitakere Hospital, Lincoln Rd, Henderson 0610.
Country 51954 0
New Zealand
Phone 51954 0
Fax 51954 0
Email 51954 0
Contact person for public queries
Name 51955 0
Miss Kylie Travers
Address 51955 0
Waitakere Hospital, Lincoln Rd, Henderson 0610.
Country 51955 0
New Zealand
Phone 51955 0
Fax 51955 0
Email 51955 0
Contact person for scientific queries
Name 51956 0
Miss Kylie Travers
Address 51956 0
Waitakere Hospital, Lincoln Rd, Henderson 0610.
Country 51956 0
New Zealand
Phone 51956 0
Fax 51956 0
Email 51956 0

No information has been provided regarding IPD availability
Summary results
Have study results been published in a peer-reviewed journal?
Other publications
Have study results been made publicly available in another format?
Results – basic reporting
Results – plain English summary