• To test the effectiveness of a brief culturally adapted intervention for at-risk drinkers using a randomised controlled design. It will be conducted over two years in the Royal Darwin Hospital maxillofacial surgery unit.
  • To introduce screening and brief interventions for high risk drinkers admitted to hospital with facial trauma
  • To introduce a practical approach to integrating brief interventions into the hospital setting
  • To demonstrate significant benefits for at-risk drinkers with facial trauma. 

The incidence of mandibular fractures in Indigenous people in the Northern Territory (NT) was 155 per 100,000 of population, while facial fractures in the NT overall were close to 120 per 100,000 of population. This is the second highest incidence in the world, following Greenland at 170 per 100,000 (Thomas and Jameson, 2007).

Personal assaults, fights, and violence accounted for 91% of all facial traumas in the NT. The Maxillofacial/Head & Neck Surgery unit has identified the need to address treatment needs of this population.

Successful conduct and outcomes from the study will be maximised through working in partnership with the Department of Health and Families. The results of this project will become the best available to guide the hospital management of substance misuse in high risk Indigenous youth and young adults. This project will allow direct transfer of those findings to clinical practice. 

Implications for policy and practice:

Findings from this project will inform future hospital based injury prevention strategies and effective treatment approaches. The results will become the best available to guide the management of alcohol misuse in high risk young Indigenous Australians admitted to hospital.

Chief Investigator:
 Project Manager:
  • Dr Rama Jayaraj 
Contact information:
Start date - end date:
  • 2010 - 2012.
  • Northern Territory Department of Health and Families.
  1. Jayaraj, R., Thomas, M., Kavanagh, D., d'Abbs, P., Mayo, L., Thompson, V., Griffin, C.  & Nagel, T. (2012). Study Protocol: Screening and Treatment of Alcohol-Related Trauma (START) - a randomised controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), 371.