Alcohol risk drinking, quality of life and health state among patients treated at the Sobering Unit in the emergency department – One year follow-up study

Marita Koivunen, Sanna Harju, Tommi Kauko, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Methods This was a quasi-experimental study without control group (one-year follow-up). Alcohol use of patients in emergency department (Sobering Unit) in specialized care in Finland (AUDIT–test), quality of life (EQ-5D-3L) and health state (EQ VAS) at baseline, three months, six months and one year following the brief intervention were analyzed with Wilcoxon Signed-Rank test. Results The patients’ alcohol risk use decreased statistically significantly after the treatment period at the Sobering Unit. The patients’ health-related quality of life did not change statistically significantly during three months following the treatment period, whereas a statistically significant increase took place after six months. Self-perceived health status improved statistically significantly between the treatment period and three- and six-month follow up time points. Conclusions The study gave some suggestive evidence that a brief intervention could be effective for harmful drinkers or alcohol-dependent patients when used in an emergency department. The Sobering Unit in the emergency department is one solution to encourage patients to pay attention to their alcohol risk drinking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Emergency Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Brief intervention
  • Emergency department
  • Emergency nursing
  • Health status
  • Risk drinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency

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