The role of alcohol in the incidence of hospital-treated unintentional injury: a data linkage study

Alcohol consumption increases the risk of injury. Although this is common knowledge, there is limited information available on the injury circumstances, causes and injury types associated with alcohol consumption. Data available for research in this area are limited: alcohol consumption is not well captured in administrative hospital data. This research aims to address this gap in knowledge through a series of studies into alcohol and unintentional injury in Victoria, Australia. This will help develop methodology to better capture alcohol involvement in injury cases presenting to hospital, as well as identify alcohol-related injury risks that can be addressed through prevention strategies.

Study 1: The aim of the first study is to develop ICD-10-AM (International Classification of Diseases) coding to identify alcohol involvement or history in injury-related hospital admissions data. The coding will then be validated by medical chart review.

Study 2: Using the hospital-admitted injury cohort selected in Study 1, the next study will aim to determine how injury admissions with alcohol involvement differ to those without, in terms of patient demographics, injury cause, type and severity, and injury outcomes such as complications and length of stay.

Study 3: The aim of Study 3 is to determine the injury risk profile of those exposed to alcohol. A cohort of patients with hospital-recorded alcohol exposure, intoxication or alcohol-related health problems will be followed over time using linked hospital data and death data. Injury incidence in this cohort (hospital admissions as well as injury deaths) will be compared to injury incidence in a matched control group.

This thesis would be supervised by Assoc. Professor Janneke Berecki and Dr Angela Clapperton.

Learn more about our Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit