Six-month follow-up of a brief intervention on self-reported safety belt use among emergency department patients

William G. Fernandez, Michael R. Winter, Patricia M. Mitchell, Holly Bullock, Jacqueline Donovan, Jill St. George, James A. Feldman, Susan S. Gallagher, Mary Pat McKay, Edward Bernstein, Theodore Colton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Safety belt use (SBU) reduces motor vehicle deaths by 45%. We previously reported that a brief intervention improved self-reported SBU among emergency department (ED) patients at 3 months. We sought to determine if these effects were sustained at 6 months postenrollment. Methods: This was a prospective, randomized controlled trial of adult patients (age ≥ 21 years) at an academic medical center ED from February 2006 to May 2006. Patients were systematically sampled for selfreported SBU. Those with self-reported SBU less than "always" were asked to participate. Subjects were surveyed at baseline with a nine-item series of situational SBU questions scored on a five-point Likert scale (e.g., 5 = always, 1 = never). This nine-item average comprised the mean SBU score. Subjects were randomized to a control group (CG) and an intervention group (IG). The CG received an injury prevention brochure; the IG received a brief motivation interview by a trained interventionist and the brochure. Subjects were phoned at 3 and 6 months to determine interval change in SBU scores via a standard script. Repeated-measures analysis of covariance and t-tests were used to analyze trends in mean SBU scores between groups, as well as to test mean changes in SBU scores from the 3- to 6-month intervals. Results: Of 432 eligible patients, 292 enrolled (mean age = 35 years, SD ± 11.2 years; 61% male). At baseline, there were no significant demographic differences; the IG (n = 147) and CG (n = 145) had similar mean SBU scores (2.8 vs. 2.6, p = 0.31), and 66% (n = 96 in each) completed both 3- and 6-month follow-up. The mean SBU score at 6 months in the IG was greater than in the CG group (3.6 vs. 2.9, p < 0.001), as were the mean SBU score differences from baseline (IG = 0.84 vs. CG = 0.29, p < 0.001). These differences were sustained from the 3-month interval (IG = -0.02 vs. CG = -0.06, p > 0.05). Conclusions: The previously reported finding that ED patients who received a brief motivation interview reported higher SBU scores at 3 months compared to a CG was sustained at 6-month follow-up. Although limited by self-report, a brief intervention may enhance lasting SBU behavior among high-risk ED patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1221-1224
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Brief intervention
  • Emergency department
  • Injury prevention
  • Safety belt use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Six-month follow-up of a brief intervention on self-reported safety belt use among emergency department patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this