Implementation of the high-risk alcoholism relapse scale in a liver transplant clinic

Min Zhou, Laura M. Wagner, Thomas Diflo, Madeline Naegle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because of the high prevalence of alcohol relapse after liver transplantation, transplant programs are challenged to evaluate alcoholism among liver transplant patients. Relapse after liver transplantation can have detrimental outcomes such as organ rejection, medical and social resource exhaustion, financial burden to the family and society, and negative public perception of organ transplantation. The purpose of this project was to improve post-liver transplant assessment for the risk of relapse to heavy alcohol use by implementing a protocol using the High-Risk Alcoholism Relapse (HRAR) scale (DiMartini et al., 2000; Yates et al., 1993). The project was conducted in an urban organ transplant center's outpatient post liver transplant clinic. Chart reviews assessed the process of patients identified as being at high risk and the transplant providers' completion of the HRAR scale. Eleven percent of patients assessed were identified as being at high risk for relapse of heavy alcohol use and 85% of providers used the HRAR scale in their clinic interviews. This project demonstrates that further refinements in techniques of predicting the risks of relapse are necessary, and nurses are in ideal positions to screen patients for alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-454
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Gastroenterology


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