Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is SBIRT?
  • Why is SBIRT needed in pediatric trauma centers?
  • What is the IAMSBIRT Initiative?
  • How will staff training help?
  • What are the training requirements for the 3 tracks?
  • Which pediatric trauma centers are participating in the IAMSBIRT initiative?

Q: What is SBIRT?

A: SBIRT stands for Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. Research has shown that SBIRT is an effective way to reduce drinking and substance use problems in adults[1], and a growing body of evidence shows that SBIRT is effective and cost-effective for adolescents[2][3].

Q: Why is SBIRT needed in pediatric trauma centers?


  • Provision of screening and brief intervention for alcohol misuse is required at ACS-certified Level 1 pediatric trauma centers.
  • Despite this mandate, reported screening rates for alcohol misuse in pediatric trauma centers remain low.
  • The IAMSBIRT training initiative was designed to help pediatric trauma center staff to comply with the ACS mandate.

Q: What is the IAMSBIRT initiative?

A: The IAMSBIRT initiative is jointly coordinated by staff at Rhode Island HospitalBrown University, and the New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center. The goal of the IAMSBIRT initiative is to test the effectiveness of a comprehensive implementation strategy in promoting the use of SBIRT in 10 pediatric trauma centers across the country.

The implementation strategy has 3 phases: preparation, implementation, and sustainability. Each site will complete a 3-month preparation phase, a 6-month implementation phase, and a 9-month sustainability phase.

Q: How will staff training help?

A: Our implementation strategy is based on the Science to Service Laboratory (SSL), an approach developed by the SAMHSA-funded Addiction Technology Transfer Centers that consists of three core elements: didactic training + performance feedback + leadership coaching. We hypothesize that after receiving the SSL training, there will be an increase in the proportion of admitted injured adolescents receiving screening and brief intervention.

Q: What are the training requirements for the 3 tracks?

A: The following training components and activities are encouraged for Nurses, Social Workers, and Site Leaders at participating pediatric trauma centers:

All 3 tracks can access the following didactic training components in the IAMSBIRT learning community:

  • Online training workshops and monthly webinars.
  • Electronic mailing lists.
  • CNE, NASW, and CME continuing education credits are available*.

* Continuing education credits will be awarded upon completion of online and in-person workshops and monthly webinars.

Q: Which pediatric trauma centers are participating in the IAMSBIRT initiative?


  1.  Arkansas Children’s Hospital (Little Rock, AR)
  2.  Boston Children’s Hospital (Boston, MA)
  3.  Dell’s Children’s Medical Center (Austin, TX)
  4.  Harborview Medical Center (Seattle, WA)
  5.  Hasbro Children’s Hospital (Providence, RI)
  6.  Hennepin County Medical Center (Minneapolis, MN)
  7.  Johns Hopkins University – Bloomberg Children’s Center (Baltimore, MD)
  8.  New Haven Children’s Hospital (New Haven, CT)
  9.  Intermountain Primary Children’s Medical Center (Salt Lake City, UT)
  10. UMASS Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, MA)

[1] Barata IA, Shandro JR, Montgomery M, Polansky R, Sachs CJ, Duber HC, et al. Effectiveness of SBIRT for Alcohol Use Disorders in the Emergency Department: A Systematic Review. The western journal of emergency medicine. 2017;18(6):1143-52.

[2]  Barbosa C, Cowell A, Bray J, Aldridge A. The cost-effectiveness of Alcohol Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in emergency and outpatient medical settings. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2015;53:1-8.

[3]  Cunningham RM, Chermack ST, Ehrlich PF, et al. Alcohol interventions among underage drinkers in the ED: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2015;136(4):e783-793.