Open Access Open Badges Study protocol

The Quik Fix study: a randomised controlled trial of brief interventions for young people with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses accessing emergency department and crisis support care

Leanne Hides1*, David J Kavanagh1, Mark Daglish23, Susan Cotton45, Jason P Connor2, Jan J Barendregt2, Ross McD Young1, Davina Sanders1, Angela White2 and Lance Mergard6

Author Affiliations

1 Center for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR), School for Psychology & Counselling, Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), 60 Musk Ave, Brisbane, Queensland, 4059, Australia

2 Center for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR), Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

3 Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia

4 Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

5 Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia

6 ChaplainWatch Inc, Brisbane, Australia

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BMC Emergency Medicine 2014, 14:19  doi:10.1186/1471-227X-14-19

Published: 8 August 2014



Alcohol is a major preventable cause of injury, disability and death in young people. Large numbers of young people with alcohol-related injuries and medical conditions present to hospital emergency departments (EDs). Access to brief, efficacious, accessible and cost effective treatment is an international health priority within this age group. While there is growing evidence for the efficacy of brief motivational interviewing (MI) for reducing alcohol use in young people, there is significant scope to increase its impact, and determine if it is the most efficacious and cost effective type of brief intervention available. The efficacy of personality-targeted interventions (PIs) for alcohol misuse delivered individually to young people is yet to be determined or compared to MI, despite growing evidence for school-based PIs. This study protocol describes a randomized controlled trial comparing the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of telephone-delivered MI, PI and an Assessment Feedback/Information (AF/I) only control for reducing alcohol use and related harm in young people.


Participants will be 390 young people aged 16 to 25 years presenting to a crisis support service or ED with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses (including severe alcohol intoxication). This single blinded superiority trial randomized young people to (i) 2 sessions of MI; (ii) 2 sessions of a new PI or (iii) a 1 session AF/I only control. Participants are reassessed at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months on the primary outcomes of alcohol use and related problems and secondary outcomes of mental health symptoms, functioning, severity of problematic alcohol use, alcohol injuries, alcohol-related knowledge, coping self-efficacy to resist using alcohol, and cost effectiveness.


This study will identify the most efficacious and cost-effective telephone-delivered brief intervention for reducing alcohol misuse and related problems in young people presenting to crisis support services or EDs. We expect efficacy will be greatest for PI, followed by MI, and then AF/I at 1, 3, 6 and 12 months on the primary and secondary outcome variables. Telephone-delivered brief interventions could provide a youth-friendly, accessible, efficacious, cost-effective and easily disseminated treatment for addressing the significant public health issue of alcohol misuse and related harm in young people.

Trial registration

This trial is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613000108718.

Alcohol; Brief intervention; Young people; Substance use; Telephone; Motivation; Personality; Randomised controlled trial