European Journal of Trauma and Emergency Surgery

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 693–699 | Cite as

Trauma risk perception related to alcohol, cannabis, and cocaine intake

  • S. Cordovilla-Guardia
  • F. Guerrero-López
  • A. Maldonado
  • R. Vilar-López
  • J. M. Salmerón
  • I. Romero
  • S. Pose
  • E. Fernández-Modéjar
Original Article



A high perception of risk may exert a preventive effect against the initiation of risky activities. The aims of the present study were (1) to analyze the risk perception for traumatic incidents according to drug intake (alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, no consumption) by trauma patients admitted to our hospital, and (2) to explore the influence of drugs on trauma recidivism.


Between 1 November 2011 and 1 April 2012, 404 patients aged between 16 and 70 years were admitted to our hospital for trauma cases. In 363 (89.9 %) of the patients, data were gathered on age, the trauma mechanism, and the consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Out of these 363 patients, 286 (78.8 %) attended a motivational interview and reported their consumption habits and their perception of the risk of trauma after alcohol and/or illegal drug consumption, as well as the antecedents of previous traumatisms.


Alcohol and/or illegal drugs were detected in 37 % of the sample, with alcohol being the most frequently detected, followed by cannabis, cocaine, and other drugs. Among the trauma patients with no consumption, a high perception of trauma risk was associated with alcohol intake by 95.9 %, with cannabis consumption by 68.4 %, and with cocaine consumption by 53.4 %, whereas these percentages were significantly lower for patients testing positive for substances (79.3, 21.1, and 8.3 % respectively). Among the patients experiencing their first trauma, the mean age was almost 15 years younger in those who were positive for these substances than in those who were negative (p < 0.001). Finally, a history of previous trauma was reported by a majority (64 %) of the trauma patients testing positive for alcohol and/or drugs, but by a minority (36 %) of those testing negative (p < 0.001).


The low perception of risk associated with alcohol, cannabis, or cocaine consumption by trauma patients under the influence of these substances on admission may be a predisposing factor for recidivism. Recommendations for both primary and secondary prevention are presented.


Alcohol Drugs Motivational intervention Trauma recidivism Risk perception 


Conflict of interest

This research was funded by a Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN) grant to A. Maldonado (Ref PSI2009-12217); support from the RETICS Program (Red de Trastornos Adictivos), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spanish Ministry of Health, to Raquel Vilar López; and a National Department of Traffic (DGT) (Ref. 0100DGT22389) grant to Sergio Cordovilla Guardia.

Francisco Guerrero López, Jose Miguel Salmerón, Inmaculada Romero, Susana Pose, and Enrique Fernandez Mondejar declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical standards

The study was approved by the hospital research ethics committee, which waived the need for informed consent for this observational and anonymous investigation. This manuscript has been conducted in compliance with internationally accepted ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cordovilla-Guardia
    • 1
  • F. Guerrero-López
    • 1
  • A. Maldonado
    • 2
    • 3
  • R. Vilar-López
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. M. Salmerón
    • 1
  • I. Romero
    • 1
  • S. Pose
    • 4
  • E. Fernández-Modéjar
    • 1
  1. 1.Intensive Care Unit, Critical Care and Emergency DepartmentVirgen de las Nieves University HospitalGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Experimental Psychology DepartmentUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  3. 3.Mind, Brain, and Behavior Research CentreGranadaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PsychologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain

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