Publication Detail

Cherpitel, C., Bond, J., Borges, G., MacDonald, S., Stockwell, T., R. and Giesbrecht, N. (2003). Alcohol-related injury in the ER: A cross national meta-analysis from the Emergency Room Collaborative Alcohol Analysis Project (ERCAAP). Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64, (5), pp. 641-649. [RJ412]

Objective: To examine the impact of usual drinking patterns and related problems on the

acute use or alcohol in injury. Methods: The impact of quantity and frequency of drinking,

alcohol problems and dependence symptoms on admission to the emergency room (ER) for an

alcohol-related injury (based, separately, on a positive BAC and self-reported drinking within six

hours prior to injury) compared to a non-alcohol related injury was examined using meta-analysis,

across 15 ER studies covering seven countries. Results: Pooled effect size for consuming 5 or

more drinks on an occasion at least monthly was significant but not homogeneous, with odds

ratios of 4.02 for BAC and 3.88 for self-report. Frequency of drinking among non-heavy

drinkers was found to have the largest effect size (5.65 for BAC and 4.83 for self-report), while

heavy drinking, controlling for frequency, was also significant (odds ratios of 2.07 for BAC and

1.86 for self-report), but effect size was homogeneous only for self-report. Alcohol-related

problems and dependence symptoms were also significant with odds ratios of 4.15 and 3.47,

respectively, for BAC and 3.73 and 3.76, respectively, for self-report. In meta-regression

analysis, among contextual variables, the level to which alcohol use is stigmatized in the culture

was most consistently predictive of heavy drinking effect size on an alcohol-related injury, with

larger effect sizes found in those studies reporting a lower level of stigmatization. Conclusions:

While quantity and frequency of drinking were both found to be highly predictive of an alcohol related

injury, socio-cultural variables may affect observed associations of heavy drinking with an

alcohol-related injury.

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