Programme summary

The SIPS alcohol screening and brief intervention (ASBI) research programme was funded by the UK Department of Health in 2006 as part of the national Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England. The programme comprised three cluster randomised controlled trials of different methods of screening and brief intervention across three settings: Primary Health Care, Emergency Departments, and Probation Services. The three trials had a similar design to allow comparisons across settings. The main aims of the programme were to evaluate the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of different methods of screening and brief interventions for alcohol misuse and to assess the feasibility of, and factors promoting or inhibiting, implementation in the typical practice setting.

You can read more about the research design, protocols and findings here:

The whole programme of research has taken just over 3 years to complete (including a 13-month data collection period and follow-ups at 6 and 12 months post recruitment). It has taken place across 9 Emergency Departments, 29 GP surgeries and 20 Probation Offices across three regions (London, South East and North East of England). We have involved and trained 670 members of staff across all these settings. During the 13-month data collection period we screened 10,530 patients and recruited 2,481 into the study, making it the largest alcohol screening and brief intervention study so far conducted in the UK.

The programme has addressed key gaps in the current evidence base on screening and brief intervention and our findings will guide further developments in the field and local, national and international implementation of alcohol screening and brief intervention.

Six main outcomes papers are in preparation and shortened factsheets will be made available when these are accepted for publication. An end of programme conference is also being organised for 5th March 2012 at the Institute of Psychiatry where the main findings will be presented and discussed. See details below.

Conference on Alcohol Screening and Brief Interventions: From Research into Practice - A one day conference including findings from the SIPS Trials and the launch of SIPS Junior

The presentations from the conference are now available online here.