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Prevention of Alcohol-Related Crime and Trauma (PACT): brief interventions in routine care pathway – a study protocol

Rama Jayaraj1*, Megan Whitty2, Mahiban Thomas3, David Kavangh4, Didier Palmer5, Valerie Thomson2, Carolyn Griffin2, Luke Mayo2, Peter D’Abbs2 and Tricia Nagel2

Author Affiliations

1 Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research and School of Psychological and Clinical Sciences and Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

2 Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

3 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

4 Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation and School of Psychology & Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD, Australia

5 Emergency Department, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:49  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-49

Published: 18 January 2013



Globally, alcohol-related injuries cause millions of deaths and huge economic loss each year . The incidence of facial (jawbone) fractures in the Northern Territory of Australia is second only to Greenland, due to a strong involvement of alcohol in its aetiology, and high levels of alcohol consumption. The highest incidences of alcohol-related trauma in the Territory are observed amongst patients in the Maxillofacial Surgery Unit of the Royal Darwin Hospital. Accordingly, this project aims to introduce screening and brief interventions into this unit, with the aims of changing health service provider practice, improving access to care, and improving patient outcomes.


Establishment of Project Governance: The project governance team includes a project manager, project leader, an Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) and an Expert Reference Group (ERG).

Development of a best practice pathway: PACT project researchers collaborate with clinical staff to develop a best practice pathway suited to the setting of the surgical unit. The pathway provides clear guidelines for screening, assessment, intervention and referral.

Implementation: The developed pathway is introduced to the unit through staff training workshops and associate resources and adapted in response to staff feedback.

Evaluation: File audits, post workshop questionnaires and semi-structured interviews are administered.


This project allows direct transfer of research findings into clinical practice and can inform future hospital-based injury prevention strategies.

Alcohol-related trauma; Screening; Brief intervention; Dissemination