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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(10), 4584-4606; doi:10.3390/ijerph10104584

Alcohol and Violence in the Emergency Room: A Review and Perspectives from Psychological and Social Sciences

Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Psychologie, Personnalité, Cognition, Changement Social, UFR SHS, 1251 avenue Centrale, BP 47, 38040 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
CHU Clermont Ferrand, Urgences Adultes, 28 Place Henri Dunant BP 69, 63003 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 01, France
UFR Médecine, Université Clermont 1, Place Henri Dunant, Clermont-Ferrand F-63001, France
UFR Médecine, Université Clermont 1, EA 7280, Clermont-Ferrand F63001, France
Centre hospitalier universitaire de Grenoble, CHU de Grenoble BP 217 38043 Grenoble cedex 09, France
INSERM U1042, Grenoble F-38042, France
Faculté de Médecine, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble F-38042, France
CHU, Hôpital Michallon, Addictologie, Grenoble F-38043, France
INSERM U836, Equipe 10, Grenoble F-38042, France
CNRS UMR 5287, INCIA, Institut de Neurosciences cognitives et intégratives d'Aquitaine, Université Victor Segalen, Bordeaux 2, 146 rue Léo Saignat, 33076 Bordeaux cedex, France
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6475 Christie Avenue, Suite 400, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 June 2013 / Revised: 16 September 2013 / Accepted: 17 September 2013 / Published: 27 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol Abuse: Newer Approaches to an Old Problem)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [218 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


Our objective is to present a focused review of the scientific literature on the effect of alcohol consumption on violence related-injuries assessed in the emergency room (ER) and to show how psychological and behavioral sciences could lead to a better understanding of the factors contributing to alcohol-related injuries in the ER. We retrieved published literature through a detailed search in Academic Search Premier, MEDLINE with Full Text PsycARTICLES, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsycINFO, PUBMed and SocINDEX with Full Text for articles related to emergency rooms, medical problems and sociocognitive models addressing alcohol intoxication articles. The first search was conducted in June 2011 and updated until August 2013. Literature shows that compared to uninjured patients; injured ones have a higher probability of: (i) having an elevated blood-alcohol concentration upon arrival at the ER; (ii) reporting having drunk alcohol during the six hours preceding the event; and (iii) suffering from drinking-related consequences that adversely affect their social life. The main neurocognitive and sociocognitive models on alcohol and aggression are also discussed in order to understand the aetiology of violence-related injuries in emergency rooms. Suggestions are made for future research and prevention.
Keywords: alcohol; violence; injury; emergency room; aggression; social cognition alcohol; violence; injury; emergency room; aggression; social cognition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zerhouni, O.; Bègue, L.; Brousse, G.; Carpentier, F.; Dematteis, M.; Pennel, L.; Swendsen, J.; Cherpitel, C. Alcohol and Violence in the Emergency Room: A Review and Perspectives from Psychological and Social Sciences. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4584-4606.

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