Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
There is evidence of an link between alcohol use and offending behaviour and around a quarter of police time is spent on alcohol-related incidents. The police custody setting provides an important opportunity to target people who may be involved in alcohol-related disorder. This study aims to investigate whether people who have been arrested (arrestees) can be persuaded to take part in a trial aimed at reducing the amount of alcohol drunk by arrestees being treated in custody. This will be carried out at four police custody suites in the North East and Bristol. Results from this initial study (pilot trial) will be helpful in developing a larger trial which will assess how successful and cost-effective a screening and a brief alcohol intervention is in reducing dangerous drinking in arrestees in police custody.
Who can participate?
People aged at least 18 who have been arrested, are in police custody and who score positive on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.
What does the study involve?
Detention officers will be randomly allocated one of three experimental groups: screening only (control), screening and feedback followed immediately by 10 minutes of brief structured advice about alcohol and its impact on health and offending behaviour (intervention 1) and, finally, screening, feedback, advice plus an offer of a session of behavioural change counselling by a trained Alcohol Health Worker (intervention 2). The arrestees that take part in the trial are allocated one of these detention officers and are treated according to which group the officer has been placed. They will be followed up at 6 months and then a year after treatment.
Where is the study run from?
Newcastle University (UK)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
April 2014 to March 2016
Who is funding the study?
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)(UK) School for Public Health Research.
Who is the main contact?
Professor Eileen Kaner
ACCEPT: A pilot feasibility trial of alcohol screening and brief intervention in the police custody suite setting
The hypothesis of the study is that alcohol screening and brief interventions can impact drinking outcomes in a police custody setting.
Newcastle University, 28/04/2014, ref. 00754
Pilot feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cluster randomised trial
Quality of life
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Public health; alcohol use disorders
Detention Officers at the included police stations will be randomised to deliver one of three conditions:
1. Screening only (no leaflet and no feedback) control group
2. screening and feedback followed immediately by 10 minutes of manualised brief structured advice about alcohol and its impact on health and offending behaviour
3. Screening and feedback followed by 10 minutes of brief structured advice plus the offer of a subsequent session of behaviour change counselling delivered by a trained Alcohol Health Worker.
Primary outcome measure
Feasibility and acceptability: Success criteria will be to successfully recruit and deliver interventions to 60 participants per condition (180 in total) at baseline and follow-up at least 50% of these individuals at 12 months (90 in total). In addition, a definitive study could only be conducted if study procedures are found to be acceptable to both detention officers and arrestees which would be determined in the embedded qualitative work of the study (to take place concurrently, at 12 month follow up).
Secondary outcome measures
1. Parameters for the design of a definitive cRCT of brief alcohol intervention, including rates of eligibility, consent, participation and retention at 6 and 12-months
2. Collection of cost and resource use data to inform the cost-effectiveness/utility analysis in a definitive trial
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
Arrestees aged 18+ who are managed in the police custody setting.
Target number of participants
90 (30 in each arm) at 12 month follow-up
Participant exclusion criteria
Participants who are grossly unwell (including with major psychiatric problems or alcohol withdrawal suggesting dependence which would require referral to specialist care) and who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or police staff.
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Institute of Health and Society
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (UK) - School for Public Health Research (SPHR Alcohol programme Work Package 2)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Not provided at time of registration
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not provided at time of registration
Basic results (scientific)