Screening and brief intervention delivery in the workplace to reduce alcohol-related harm: a pilot randomized controlled trial

Hazel Watson, Christine Godfrey, Angus McFadyen, Katherine McArthur, Marisa Stevenson, Aisha Holloway

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To explore the feasibility and cost effectiveness of screening and delivery of a brief intervention for hazardous drinking employees. Methods: A pilot randomised controlled trial of a brief intervention delivered by an Occupational Health nurse versus no delivery of brief intervention (control group) conducted in a Local Authority Council (LCA) in the United Kingdom. Changes in quality of life and economic indicators were measured by the EQ-5D. Results: 627 employees were screened of whom 163 (26.01%) fulfilled the inclusion criteria with a total of 57 (35%) agreeing to participate. No significant differences were found between the groups for baseline demographics or levels/patterns of alcohol consumption. A statistically significant effect was found in the mean AUDIT scores over time (F = 8.96, p = 0.004) but not for group (F = 0.017, p = 0.896), and no significant interaction was found (F = 0.148, p = 0.702). The cost of each intervention was calculated at £12.48, the difference in service costs was calculated at £344.50 per person; that is there was a net saving of health and other care costs in the intervention group compared to the control group. The QALYs fell in both intervention and control groups, the difference −0.002 − (−0.010) yields a net advantage of the intervention of 0.008 QALYs. Conclusion: The main results from this pilot study suggest that alcohol brief interventions delivered in the workplace may offer the potential to reduce alcohol-related harm and save public sector resources. A fully powered multi-centre trial is warranted to contribute to the current evidence base and explore further the potential of alcohol brief interventions in the workplace. In a full trial the recruitment method may need to be re-considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • alcohol consumption
  • work place
  • screening
  • brief interventions
  • feasibility
  • pilot study
  • randomised controlled trial

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