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

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Prof Colin Drummond


Contact details

Section of Addictive Behaviour
Division of Mental Health
St George's University of London
Cranmer Terrace
SW17 0RE
United Kingdom

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A randomised controlled trial of different methods of alcohol screening and brief interventions in routine accident and emergency department care



Study hypothesis

Brief intervention by an alcohol health worker for hazardous and harmful drinkers identified by targeted screening is more effective and cost effective than brief advice conducted by Accident and Emergency Department (AED) staff in the typical AED setting.

As of 11/03/2009 this record was updated to include an extended anticipated end date; the initial end date at the time of registration was 31/12/2008. At this time, the sponsor field was also updated to include the current sponsor of Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (UK). The initial sponsor at the time of registration was St George's University of London (UK).

Ethics approval

London Local Research Ethic Committee (LREC), 05/04/2007, ref: 07/MRE02/6

Study design

Cluster prospective randomised controlled trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Alcohol use disorders/accident and emergency


1. Control condition: AED staff in the control condition will be trained to apply the appropriate screening method and record the screening outcome, will feedback the result of screening to patients and offer them a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). The PIL is from the “Drink-Less Programme” and has been extensively pre-tested with clinicians and patients in PHC and will be used in this trial. The PIL will also contain a number for Drinkline where the patient can access further information. The PIL to be used in this trial will be ‘Alcohol and Sensible Drinking’ as in the PHC study (trial details in

2. Simple structured advice condition: AED staff will be trained to carry out screening and deliver up to 5 minutes of brief advice for hazardous and harmful drinkers presenting to the AED, using the Drink-Less brief intervention materials (level 1) as in the PHC study. Patients in this condition will also receive a PIL as above, including a number for Drinkline.

3. Alcohol Health Worker condition: This is based on the St Mary’s Hospital model. AED staff will be trained to carry out universal alcohol screening and to refer hazardous and harmful drinkers identified by screening to an Alcohol Health Worker (AHW), by making an appointment usually the following day or as soon as possible after AED attendance. Before leaving the AED the patients in this condition will be given a PIL and “Simple structured advice” as above. The AHW will be experienced in carrying out alcohol assessment and brief interventions. The AHW will carry out a brief lifestyle counseling intervention lasting for 15-20 minutes as in the protocol for PHC lifestyle counseling intervention above (using the Drink-Less brief intervention materials [level 2]).

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measures

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) at baseline and 6 months.

Secondary outcome measures

The following will be assessed at baseline and 6 months:
1. Alcohol Problems Questionnaire
2. EQ-5D questionnaire (quality of life assessment)
3. Service utilisation
4. Staff attitudinal and organisational measures

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

1. AED patients
2. Scoring positive on the Paddington Alcohol Test (PAT), FAST or SASQ
3. Patients who are alert and orientated
4. Aged 18 or over, either sex
5. Able to speak English sufficiently well to complete study questionnaires

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

1. Already in contact with alcohol services
2. Those already included in the study
3. Those requesting help with alcohol problems at a tertiary level

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Section of Addictive Behaviour
SW17 0RE
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London (UK)

Sponsor details

4 Windsor Walk
United Kingdom

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Department of Health (UK) - part of an action under the government’s Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England (2004)

Alternative name(s)

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

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

2014 results in:

Publication citations

  1. Results

    Drummond C, Deluca P, Coulton S, Bland M, Cassidy P, Crawford M, Dale V, Gilvarry E, Godfrey C, Heather N, McGovern R, Myles J, Newbury-Birch D, Oyefeso A, Parrott S, Patton R, Perryman K, Phillips T, Shepherd J, Touquet R, Kaner E, The effectiveness of alcohol screening and brief intervention in emergency departments: a multicentre pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial., PLoS ONE, 2014, 9, 6, e99463, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099463.

Additional files

Editorial Notes