Alcohol Insights

Alcohol outlet density and alcohol-related hospital admissions in England: a geographical analysis

Research and Development Grant

The availability of alcohol is a major policy issue.  A key measure of availability is the number, or density, of alcohol outlets in a given area.  Numerous international studies have looked at links between outlet density, overall consumption, and crime and disorder.  However, few have examined associations between outlet density and alcohol-related hospital admissions. The purpose of this study was to investigate if alcohol outlet density was associated with hospital admissions for alcohol-related conditions in England.  We used hospital admissions data from 2002/03 to 2013/14 and data on alcohol outlets from a  market research company.

Investigating the Potential Impact of Changing Alcohol Product Labels

Small Grant

There is good evidence that changes to alcohol labels, for example through the inclusion of a health message, can improve consumer awareness of the risks relating to excessive consumption.  However, the evidence that this then leads to actual changes in drinking behaviour and reductions in alcohol harm is weak.

All night long: Social media marketing to young people by alcohol brands and venues

Research and Development Grant

Alcohol is a pervasive theme in young people’s social media interactions, and one of the products most likely to elicit ‘user engagement’ online. The recent expansion of social media use amongst under-25s has created unprecedented opportunities for marketing alcohol products, especially with the emergence of more interactive platforms alongside digital and mobile technologies. Most forms of social media alcohol marketing (SMAM) involve marketing messages created by alcohol brands alongside content created by consumers (‘user-generated content’ or UGC). Regulation of SMAM tends to focus on the former, but UGC can draw consumers into close interactive relationships with brands, products and drinking venues.

The treatment of alcohol dependence by total abstinence: The experience of residents at Studio House, Nottingham

Small Grant

The aim of this project was to explore the treatment of alcohol dependence by total abstinence from the perspective of present and past residents of Studio House, Nottinghamshire. Studio House is an abstinence-based dual-diagnosis Therapeutic Community run by Two Ways Ltd., which can host a maximum of 20 residents. Studio House is run by 10 staff and 15 volunteers, with the majority of staff having experienced an alcohol and/or drug recovery journey either at Studio House or through a different service. Residents commit to an abstinence model of recovery, which means that no drugs or alcohol can be consumed during the programme. Successful completion is defined as the attendance for the entire programme period, which is around 12 months.

Communicating public health alcohol guidance for expectant mothers: a scoping report

Small Grant

The aim of this research was to understand how the new Chief Medical Officer’s guidance on pregnancy was received by the target audience. Study methods were a rapid evidence review on alcohol and pregnancy, followed by a document analysis of CMO guidance and background documents. Four focus groups were then convened with a total of 18 stakeholders (Policy, Midwifery, Parents, Parent advocates), involving a presentation of key findings of the evidence review followed by group discussion.

Know Your Limits: Labelling Interventions to Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Small Grant

The overall purpose of this research is to address the European Parliament’s call for ‘clear, concise and effective information on the effects of alcohol consumption and its health risks’. In 2011, the alcohol industry pledged to place clear labelling on at least 80% of products. However a recent report has found that the industry has fallen short of this target both in terms of the extent and quality of this voluntary labelling (Institute of Alcohol Studies, 2015). Statutory regulation may be the only feasible method of ensuring alcohol labelling is clear and consistent across all producers.

Understanding recovery from a family perspective: A survey of life in recovery for families

Research and Development Grant

A growing body of research describes how the lives of dependent drinkers (and drug users) can change as they move from active addiction to recovery. The Life in Recovery surveys in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa all reveal marked improvements in physical and psychological health, family functioning, employment and education, reductions in crime and improvements in community engagement. However, no surveys have, until now, assessed the experience of recovery from the perspective of family members.

Supporting nurse mentors to reduce the barriers to implementing alcohol Interventions and Brief Advice (IBA) in primary care

Small Grant

There is a wealth of evidence that supports alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) in primary care as both effective and cost effective in reducing the risks associated with drinking alcohol and National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance suggests that such prevention should be prioritised as ‘invest to save’ measures3. On average 1 in 8 higher or increasing risk drinkers receiving the intervention will reduce their alcohol consumption to lower risk levels, reducing the potential for alcohol-related harm.

Despite the strong evidence base for IBA there remain barriers to implementation of this relatively simple intervention in primary care.

A systematic review of alcohol interventions for people living with and beyond cancer

Small Grant

There is a wealth of evidence pointing to a link between alcohol drinking and cancer.  There is also evidence to suggest that people who have been diagnosed with cancer continue to behave in a way which is risky to their health by smoking cigarettes, eating an unhealthy diet, not exercising, and/or drinking too much alcohol.

A review of alcohol media literacy interventions and potential applications for a UK context

Small Grant

Alcohol media literacy interventions aim to develop capacity for critical analysis of alcohol-related media content in children and young people, in order to facilitate ability to resist pre-alcohol portrayals. This study reviewed evaluations of such interventions to understand factors supporting effectiveness including intervention content; theories of change; key mechanisms of delivery; strengths and weaknesses in current evidence and issues pertaining to potential adaptation for delivery in a UK context.