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  • Principal Investigator: Fiona Hamilton
  • 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016
  • Project No: 279
  • Funding round: FR 9

Alcohol is a growing public health concern in the UK. The Government aims to tackle this by setting minimum pricing for alcohol and also by asking doctors and nurses to ask people about their drinking, and give them brief advice to help them cut down.

Not everyone who has problems with alcohol will be helped by brief advice and some will need treatment in community alcohol services, but they often don’t want to go to these services because they are embarrassed, or because they work and can’t go for appointments during the day. Also, many services are having their funding cut and there are not enough counsellors being trained.

People with alcohol problems may therefore find it easier to get help online from a website. However, there has been little research looking at whether online alcohol treatment works as well as face-to-face treatment. So, we are conducting the DIAMOND study (Digital Alcohol Management on Demand) to test an online alcohol intervention called HeLP Alcohol (Healthy Living for People who use Alcohol) against face-to-face treatment with counsellors in community alcohol services in north London. This is a feasibility study to look at whether we can recruit people to the trial and that they are able to use the website. We will then carry out a larger trial to see if the website works as well as face-to-face treatment.

We are applying for funding to undertake interviews with people who have been in the DIAMOND feasibility study, the people who use alcohol and their counsellors. This will help us understand how to improve our trial methods. We can then apply for funding to run a large-scale study, to see if the website works as well as face-to-face treatment, which we aim to start in 2017.

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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