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e-SBIRTES - Electronic Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for (poly) drug users in Emergency Services

eSBIRTes - Electronic Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment for (poly) drug users in Emergency Services, JUST/2009-2010/DPIP/AG/4000000930 (2011-2013)

'eSBIRTes' is an innovative European project to deliver an early intervention to poly drug users in emergency services, using an electronic SBIRT:Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment. The intervention is carried out via iPad or laptop in the emergency department and it includes three main steps:

(1) Screening using the ASSIST questionnaire (WHO), (2) an online self-help module (DASH), (3) referral to specialized services.

eSBIRTes development was conducted in the emergency departments of two hospitals in Belgium and two hospitals in Hungary. The instrument was in these countries, tested on four major music festivals. During the pilot phase of the project 449 clients were selected for screening. Among hospital visitors, 187 completed the questionnaire in the screening instrument and 213 visitors who were unable to complete the questionnaire in situ were given a wristband with a unique code to log-in and participate at home. Of those who completed the questionnaire 119 (63, 6%) had a moderate to high risk score to at least one substance.

Unfortunately, very few clients registered to use the self-help module (DASH) and none of them completed the programme. Since clients were recreational drug users, this performance seems to indicate that they not regarded their alcohol and drug use as problematic or they did not feel the need to start the self-help programme. Further research is needed to find out the reasons for reluctance.

The online ASSIST and DASH are open to researchers who want to apply these instruments for further research in similar settings. More information on all aspects of this project and the e-SBIRT developed can be found in the project website: .

A factsheet has been produced and more detailed information on the different stages of the project and evaluation results can be found in the produced eSBIRTes-eBook, both of them downloadable from the project website.


The project was coordinated by the VAD, in collaboration with the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University (UK), the Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE) (Hungary), IREFREA (Spain) and the Trimbos Institute (Netherlands).


eSBIRTes has been co-funded by the European Commission, DG Justice, Freedom and Security,

JUST/2009-2010/DPIP/AG/4000000930 (2011-2013)