Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Reducing alcohol-related harm in disadvantaged men: development and feasibility assessment of a brief intervention delivered by mobile telephone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

I Crombie, D Falconer, L Irvine, B Williams, I Ricketts, Gerald Michael Humphris, J Norrie, P Rice, P Slane

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Background
Socially disadvantaged men suffer substantial harm from heavy drinking. Brief alcohol interventions are effective in reducing consumption when delivered via health care. There is a need for tailored brief interventions for disadvantaged men who seldom attend health care.

Objectives
(1) To investigate the best ways to recruit and retain disadvantaged men in a study aimed at reducing the frequency of heavy drinking. (2) To identify the type of content and timing of the delivery that is most likely to engage disadvantaged young to middle-aged men in an intervention delivered by text messages. (3) To determine whether or not the intervention is likely to be an acceptable way to influence the frequency of heavy drinking.

Design
A three-phase study involving the development of the recruitment strategy and the intervention, an assessment of the feasibility of a randomised controlled trial, and a post-study evaluation.

Setting
Community-based study, conducted in Dundee, UK.

Participants
Disadvantaged men aged 25–44 years who had two or more episodes of heavy drinking (≥8 units in a single session) in the preceding month. Two recruitment strategies were employed: recruitment through general practice (GP) registers and recruitment through a community outreach strategy.

Interventions
Focus groups explored drinking motives and behaviours of the target group. The intervention also drew on reviews of the literature on: alcohol brief interventions, text message studies, communication theory and behaviour change theories and techniques. The intervention group received 36 text messages with images sent over a 28-day period.

Main outcome measures
The outcome measures evaluated the likely success of a full trial: recruitment of the participants; construction and delivery of a theoretically and empirically based intervention that successfully engages disadvantaged men; potential for the intervention to influence binge drinking.

Results
The focus group analyses identified that personal experience and knowledge of th e harmful effects of alcohol was widespread. Furthermore, there was a discrepancy between frequent binge drinking and perceived social expectations and duties. This could usefully be targeted in the intervention. Theoretically and empirically based behaviour change strategies were successfully rendered in attractive, colourful, brief text messages. Both recruitment strategies (GP registers and community outreach) proved successful and a total of 67 men were recruited, exceeding the target of 60. The participants were at high risk of harm because of frequent episodes of heavy binge drinking. Baseline interviews established that those recruited through community outreach drank substantially more and had more frequent binge drinking sessions than those recruited through GP registers. Retention at follow-up was 96%. Extensive process evaluation was conducted. The evaluation showed that 95% of text messages were successfully delivered to participants' telephones. Furthermore, there was a high level of engagement with text messages which sought responses. Most men replied to these texts, often giving carefully structured personal responses. Analyses of the responses indicated a high level of engagement with key components of the behaviour change strategy. Post-trial evaluation showed high levels of satisfaction with the intervention.

Conclusions
This study has shown that disadvantaged men can be recruited and retained in an alcohol intervention trial. A theoretically and empirically based intervention was successfully delivered by text message. Furthermore, the messages were well received and elicited the types of response intended. A full trial of the intervention, incorporating a cost-effectiveness study, should be carried out.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Dental anxiety, communication and the dental team: responses to fearful patients

    Freeman, R. & Humphris, G. M., Aug 2019, In : Journal of the California Dental Association. 47, 8, p. 495-500

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Psychometric properties of the Chinese version Fear of Cancer Recurrence Questionnaire-7 (FCR-7)

    Yang, Y., Humphris, G., Sun, H., Li, W., Hao, Y., Liu, T., Zhang, J., Wang, H. & Zhang, B., 25 Jul 2019, In : Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Online First

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Automated screening for distress: a perspective for the future

    Rana, R., Latif, S., Gururajan, R., Gray, A., Mackenzie, G., Humphris, G. & Dunn, J., 18 Jul 2019, In : European Journal of Cancer Care. 28, 4, e13033.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Prevalence and clinical and psychological correlates of high fear of cancer recurrence in patients newly diagnosed with head and neck cancer

    Mirosevic, S., Thewes, B., van Herpen, C., Kaanders, J., Merkx, T., Humphris, G., Baatenburg de Jong, R. J., Langendijk, J. A., Leemans, C. R., Terhaard, C. H. J., Verdonck-de Leeuw, I. M., Takes, R., Prins, J. & NET-QUBIC Consortium, 7 Jun 2019, In : Head and Neck. Early View, 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Long-term weight loss following a randomised controlled trial of a weight management programme for men delivered through professional football clubs: the Football Fans in Training follow-up study

    Gray, C. M., Wyke, S., Zhang, R., Anderson, A. S., Barry, S., Brennan, G., Briggs, A., Boyer, N., Bunn, C., Donnachie, C., Grieve, E., Kohli-Lynch, C., Lloyd, S., McConnachie, A., McCowan, C., McLean, A., Mutrie, N. & Hunt, K., 1 Jul 2018, In : Public Health Research. 6, 9

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT

    Crombie, I. K., Irvine, L., Williams, B., Sniehotta, F. F., Petrie, D. J., Jones, C., Norrie, J., Evans, J. MM., Emslie, C., Rice, P. M., Slane, P. W., Humphris, G., Ricketts, I. W., Melson, A. J., Donnan, P. T., McKenzie, A., Huang, L. & Achison, M., 18 Jun 2018, In : Public Health Research. 6, 6

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 70320370