Variation in SBIRT delivery among acute care facilities

Alyson Keen, Kelli Thoele, Robin Newhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based process to recognize and intervene with people who use substances. Despite evidence to support the SBIRT effectiveness, this process is rarely used in acute care. To facilitate use of SBIRT in acute care, it is important to first understand the implementation processes. Purpose: To describe SBIRT processes across 14 acute care facilities. Methods: A phone interview was conducted with site coordinators at 14 facilities to describe their SBIRT process and clinicians involved in each step. Findings: Seven different SBIRT processes were identified for people that use alcohol and/or drugs, and five different processes were identified for people that use tobacco. The function of SBIRT was consistent throughout facilities, but the form of implementation varied based on organizational context. Discussion: Future SBIRT dissemination efforts will need to first understand the local processes and clinicians involved within each facility to tailor implementation to local context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-168
Number of pages7
JournalNursing outlook
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • intervention delivery
  • process map
  • substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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