Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Drinkware is a charity that aims to change people’s drinking habits and help reduce alcohol abuse and the harm caused by drinking too much alcohol. This study looks at how well two different messages displayed on their website, one focusing on health risks and the other on how drinking too much alcohol can have an impact on personal appearance, do in encouraging people to do a self-assessment that gives them feedback on whether they are at risk of damaging their health or appearance and whether they then go on to seek help for their drinking habit.

Who can participate?
Anyone who uses the Drinkaware website. However, there will be a particular focus on analyzing data from women over 35 years as this group has been identified by Drinkaware as a priority target group.

What does the study involve?
People who visit the Drinkaware website between Monday 3rd November and Sunday 14th December 2014 are randomly allocated to see either a brief health risk or appearance alcohol awareness message via banner advertisement in a prominent central position on the website. If web users choose to click on this banner, they are taken to another webpage containing a second brief message reinforcing the banner advertisement and are encouraged to self-assess their drinking behaviour using an online test - the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Consumption (AUDIT-C) questionnaire. AUDIT-C is a 3-item tool designed to see if someone is drinking alcohol at levels that may lower or increase risk to health. After they have completed the AUDIT-C questionnaire, participants are directed to a webpage containing their AUDIT-C risk score feedback and an extended health risk focused or appearance focused alcohol awareness message. At the bottom of this page, participants are provided with 3 help-seeking options including a number of web links containing information and providing access to resources and tools to encourage then to reduce the amount of alcohol they drink.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The benefit of participating is the opportunity to access a range of tools to help moderate alcohol consumption and improved recognition of what constitutes problem drinking. There is a risk that individuals find out they are drinking too much and do not access any of the support materials.

Where is the study run from?
The Drinkaware website (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
November 2014 to December 2014

Who is funding the study?
1. Drinkaware (UK)
2. Public Health England (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Miss Anna Sallis

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Miss Anna Sallis


Contact details

Public Health England
2nd Floor Skipton House
80 London Road
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Comparing web-based health and appearance framed messages to increase completion of the AUDIT-C alcohol self-assessment tool



Study hypothesis

1. Hypothesis 1 (H1): There is a difference in the number of participants who start the AUDIT-C in those exposed to either a brief appearance-framed or health-risk-framed persuasive message.
2. Hypothesis 2 (H2): There is a difference in the number of participants who will complete the AUDIT-C in those exposed to a brief appearance-framed or health-risk-framed persuasive message.
3. Hypothesis 3 (H3): There is a difference in the number of participants who engage in help-seeking behaviour following exposure to either an appearance-framed or health-risk-framed persuasive message.

Ethics approval

Bristol University School of Economics, Finance and Management Research Ethics Committee, 15/09/2014

Study design

Cross-sectional pragmatic randomised trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

There is no patient information material. Participants are invited to contact an email address at Drinkaware if they would like to know about any research taking place on the website during their use of it.


Excessive alcohol consumption


Short health and appearance framed alcohol harms messages are presented on the homepage. Once clicked participants are taken to the AUDIT-C alcohol self-assessment questionnaire. The AUDIT-C is a modified short form of the full 10-item AUDIT questionnaire. Once completed health or appearance framed alcohol harms messages are fed back to participants with risky drinking patterns. They are then shown three help-seeking web links which they can click and continue to use.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

1. Clicks to the AUDIT-C from home page
2. Completions of AUDIT-C
Measured between 11th November– 23rd December 2014

Secondary outcome measures

Clicks on help seeking links, measured between 11th November– 23rd December 2014

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

Anyone accessing the Drinkaware homepage between Monday 3rd November and Sunday 14th December 2014

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

75,000 home page visits

Participant exclusion criteria

There are no exclusion criteria

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Public Health England
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Public Health England

Sponsor details

c/o Dr Elizabeth Coates
Head of Research Governance RDD
Public Health England
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Public Health England

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Plan to publish in peer reviewed journal by end of 2017.

IPD sharing statement
The current data sharing plans for the current study are unknown and will be made available at a later date.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2019 results in:

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

08/04/2019: Publication reference added. 08/06/2017: Publication and dissemination plan and IPD sharing statement added.