Patterns of ‘at home’ alcohol-related injury presentations to emergency departments – An integrative literature review



      Alcohol abuse has significant personal and social impacts. Recent public health campaigns and media attention have drawn attention to the impact of excessive drinking and subsequent injury in public places. This overlooks that a significant proportion of alcohol-related injuries occur in or near the home.


      The aim of this integrative review was to determine existing information about rates of emergency department (ED) presentations for alcohol-related injuries that occurred ‘at home’. A secondary objective was to compare ED presentations for alcohol-related injuries that occurred ‘at home’ with presentations for alcohol-related injuries that occurred at licensed venues.


      A search was conducted in: PubMed, CINAHL, and google scholar databases using the following search terms: “alcohol-related injury”; “alcohol-related injuries”; “emergency department”; and, “home”.


      398 papers were located, 389 were excluded leaving nine papers that were included in the review. The review found that a large number of alcohol-related ED injury presentations originated at home (ranging from 10% to 49%) with licensed premises as the other most likely location.


      In a majority of the studies, the incidence of alcohol-related injuries sustained at home was greater than at licensed venues. Alcohol-related injury presentations to EDs are an important area of study. Nurses need to be aware of the importance of collecting accurate demographic data associated with the location of alcohol-related injury to provide evidence to inform health promotion and social policy.


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