Dr. Craig Field from The University of Texas El Paso is the principal investigator of this grant. Dr. Yessenia Castro is principal investigator of  The University of Texas at Austin subcontract.

Latinos, particularly men of Mexican origin, are more likely to drink heavily and experience alcohol-related problems, but less likely to seek help for these problems compared to non-Latino men. Our research team was the first to evaluate differences in the effectiveness of brief motivational interventions (BMI) for alcohol use and related problems among Latinos and non-Latinos. We demonstrated that heavy-drinking Latinos who received BMI were significantly more likely than those receiving standard care to reduce alcohol use at six and twelve months after the intervention. However, it did not impact alcohol-related problems or use of formal treatment services among Latinos.

We proposed that if BMI were modified to be more culturally responsive by integrating cultural values and addressing the stress of balancing two cultures, then the BMI might have a broader impact on patient outcomes. We will examine the efficacy of a culturally-adapted (modified) BMI in a community hospital setting where at-risk, heavy-drinking Mexican-origin men who are unlikely to have sought formal treatment for alcohol problems present for medical treatment of an alcohol-related injury.

We will randomly assign 600 heavy-drinking Mexican-origin men admitted to a community hospital setting for medical treatment of an alcohol-related injury to receive a either a non-adapted brief motivational intervention (NA-BMI) or a culturally adapted brief motivational intervention (CA-BMI). We predict that by accounting for culturally relevant risk (i.e., stress of balancing two cultures) and protective factors (i.e., allegiance to family) of heavy drinking among Latinos, CA-BMI will more effectively improve patient outcomes. Relative to NA-BMI, CA-BMI will more effectively decrease alcohol use and alcohol problems and increase help seeking and treatment utilization at three, six and twelve months after the intervention. The proposed study will be the first to directly address alcohol related health disparities among non-treatment seeking, Mexican-origin men by comparing the effectiveness of two active interventions (NA-BMI versus CA-BMI). Based on a theoretical framework, this study will also evaluate how particular patient characteristics influence the success of treatment.

This study will provide evidence for novel approaches to reduce alcohol problems and increase help-seeking and treatment utilization in a population of underserved, Latinos who are disproportionately affected by alcohol problems yet less likely to receive adequate treatment. The results will inform interventions to reduce alcohol-related health disparities and help reduce the overall public health burden of alcohol use in the United States. It may also lead to the development of culturally adapted behavioral interventions to address other health problems overrepresented in the Latino population.