The National Trauma Research Institute (NTRI) has delivered the Prevent Alcohol & Risk-Related Trauma in Youth program (PARTY) at The Alfred in Melbourne since 2009. PARTY is a trauma prevention and health promotion initiative that seeks to build resilience in participants through the lived experience of a major trauma service, aiming to effect a change in the perception that traumatic injury will not happen to them. Through presentations from health professionals, tours through critical care areas of the hospital, encounters with trauma patients and hands on rehabilitation activities, program participants gain first hand experience of the impact of traumatic injury.

The NTRI’s PARTY Defence program for trainees has been operating at The Alfred since 2011. A retrospective pilot evaluation has already been completed suggesting a benefit in those trainees without previous alcohol related incidents, who attended the in-hospital PARTY program. Repeat alcohol-related incidents in the program group are low. However, in the absence of verified, published data on the numbers of alcohol-related incidents for at-risk trainees, a more robust research project that used a validated screening tool and included control groups was required.


Key Objectives & Outcomes

This research program is evaluating the effectiveness of the in-hospital and on-base PARTY programs in reducing alcohol-related harms. To meet this objective, it is running a randomised controlled study focused on new trainees. Trainees who agree to be part of the project complete the validated, World Health Organization’s Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), which is a screening tool for alcohol-related use. They also complete the Modified Drinking Motives Questionnaire – Revised (MDMQ-R), which explores drinking motives. A third questionnaire developed specifically for this project the PARTY Defence Attitudes and Behaviours questionnaire will be validated during the study.

Participants are randomly allocated to attend PARTY Defence (either at the hospital or on-base at CERBERUS) or not to participate in PARTY at all. All participants are followed up at 12 months to repeat the three questionnaires outlined above, alcohol related incident data is collected on all participants at this time in order to measure program effectiveness. Results are expected in 2017.

Main Partner Orgnaisations(s)Monash University, The Alfred, HMAS Cerberus

Geographic Location(s)Australia

Chief Investigator(s)Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld, Professor Russell Gruen, Commodore Elizabeth Rushbrook, Professor Belinda Gabbe, Commander Michael Oborn, Lieutenant Jason Watterson and Ms Jennifer Thompson

Project Manager / Officer(s)Dr Teresa Howard

Main ContactDr Teresa Howard

Year Commenced2014

Expected Completion2017

Research Funding BodyDefence Health Foundation

Student FellowshipPhD – Jason Watterson