Patterns of ‘at-home’ alcohol-related injury presentations to emergency departments

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Nursing, 2017, 26 (1-2), pp. 157 - 169
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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Aims and objectives: This study aimed to establish the scale of alcohol-related injuries originating in the home. Background: Despite recent media and public attention on alcohol-related injuries occurring at licensed venues, many occur in other locations including the home. Design: A retrospective observational study. Methods: Emergency department surveillance data sourced from the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit were interrogated for alcohol-related emergency department presentations from 2003–2012 (n = 12,296). Descriptive analysis was undertaken to assess alcohol involvement in injury, and analysis of variance was used to determine the differences among group means and their associated presentations. The relationship between demographic variables and injury location was assessed using p value of <0·05 as statistically significant. Results: Of all injuries that were positively identified as being alcohol related, 41·07% occurred at the ‘other’ location, 36·14% ‘at home’, 13·00% on the street and 9·78% at licensed premises. Of these, males (n = 2635; 59%) represented a higher proportion than females (n = 1807; 41%). Of injuries identified as domestic violence by spouse or partner (n = 510), 59·5% occurred ‘at home’. Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate alcohol-related injuries occurring at home. The home accounts for a greater proportion of injuries than the frequently assessed licensed premises location. Further research is required to validate these findings in a wider setting. Relevance to clinical practice: A public health campaign is required to minimise harm associated with alcohol-related injuries in the home, and nurses are positioned to inform health policy makers around this issue. Furthermore, emergency department nurses are in a unique position to provide brief interventions around safe alcohol consumption and injury prevention.
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