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Screening and brief intervention for hazardous and harmful alcohol use in probation services: a cluster randomised control trial protocol

Newbury-Birch, Dorothy, Bland, Martin, Cassidy, Paul, Coulton, Simon, Deluca, Paolo, Drummond, Colin (2009) Screening and brief intervention for hazardous and harmful alcohol use in probation services: a cluster randomised control trial protocol. BMC Public Health, 9 . p. 418. ISSN 1471-2458. E-ISSN 1471-2458. (doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-418) (KAR id:27939)

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Official URL:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-9-418

Abstract

Background

A large number of randomised controlled trials in health settings have consistently reported positive effects of brief intervention in terms of reductions in alcohol use. However, although alcohol misuse is common amongst offenders, there is limited evidence of alcohol brief interventions in the criminal justice field. This factorial pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial with Offender Managers (OMs) as the unit of randomisation will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different models of screening to identify hazardous and harmful drinkers in probation and different intensities of brief intervention to reduce excessive drinking in probation clients.

Methods and design

Ninety-six OMs from 9 probation areas across 3 English regions (the North East Region (n = 4) and London and the South East Regions (n = 5)) will be recruited. OMs will be randomly allocated to one of three intervention conditions: a client information leaflet control condition (n = 32 OMs); 5-minute simple structured advice (n = 32 OMs) and 20-minute brief lifestyle counselling delivered by an Alcohol Health Worker (n = 32 OMs). Randomisation will be stratified by probation area. To test the relative effectiveness of different screening methods all OMs will be randomised to either the Modified Single Item Screening Questionnaire (M-SASQ) or the Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST). There will be a minimum of 480 clients recruited into the trial. There will be an intention to treat analysis of study outcomes at 6 and 12 months post intervention. Analysis will include client measures (screening result, weekly alcohol consumption, alcohol-related problems, re-offending, public service use and quality of life) and implementation measures from OMs (the extent of screening and brief intervention beyond the minimum recruitment threshold will provide data on acceptability and feasibility of different models of brief intervention). We will also examine the practitioner and organisational factors associated with successful implementation.

Discussion

The trial will evaluate the impact of screening and brief alcohol intervention in routine probation work and therefore its findings will be highly relevant to probation teams and thus the criminal justice system in the UK.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-418
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV5001 Alcoholism and intemperance
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
Depositing User: Tony Rees
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2011 13:40 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:06 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/27939 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Coulton, Simon: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7704-3274
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