Are brief alcohol interventions useful harm minimisation strategy
Are brief alcohol interventions useful harm
minimisation strategy for Australian university
students? A randomised control trial
An example of a research proposal
Dr Gargi Sinha
Before we start…..
This document is written for
completion of an assignment
in the unit of Research
Proposal and Preparation
and Research Methods at
School of Medical and Health
Sciences, Edith Cowan
University, Western Australia
Context of study
Appendix and references
Strength and limitation Analysis
first to integrate university
setting, harm minimisation
and brief intervention for
Recruiting sample from a
single Australian university
may raise the question of
Magnitude of the problem
Excessive consumption of alcohol among university students is a challenging public health
problem in Australia
Alcohol-related problem contributes significantly to acute hospital admission and costs
the health system (NSW Ministry of Health, 2015).
In 2014-15, approximately,70,000 patients presented to emergency department of
Australia for alcohol-induced problems (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2016a).
How university students are more vulnerable towards
the harm of alcohol
Issues of young people
• Alcohol consumption is estimated to cause
road trafﬁc accidents, violence and
derailment of the career in the young
population (Scott-Parker, Watson, King, &
Hyde, 2014; Snowden & Pridemore, 2014).
Researchers indicated that young
generation in the university uses alcohol for
both to socialise and to spend their idle
time (Leontini et al., 2015). These studies
identified a variety of factors which
amalgamated with harmful consumption of
alcohol by the university students.
Issues of university students
• the legal age of purchasing alcohol for 18
years coincides with the start of academic
studies at university in Australia (Leontini et
al., 2015). Additionally, peer pressure,
adjustment towards a new course and
residing alone and away from the family
also instrumental for the young generation
to indulge in heavy alcohol use (Rinker &
Areas for further research
Literature suggests :
despite risk factors, there are a limited
number of strategies adopted by the
universities to reduce the harmful effect of
alcohol (Shop, Brooks, & Schooley, 2015).
University students are at risk of consuming
harmful level at one time because of peer
pressure or lack of knowledge about binge
drinking (Rickwood et al., 2011).
However, there is a notable gap is present in
the research area for university population.
How it will contribute to the new knowledge
of existing evidence
Unlike aged and chronic drinker, those who require
pharmacological treatment under the supervision of
a specialist, the young alcohol user often need early
intervention and support. .
It is well established that brief early intervention has
a role in preventing the harm caused by alcohol
(McClatchey, Boyce, & Dombrowski, 2015). A brief
intervention is a short conversation in an evidence-
based way, with a person about a health issue in a
Young et al. (2006) argued that drinking behaviour of
university students governed by other interrelated
outcomes such as socialisation and relaxation.
Similarly, Rickwood et al. (2011) revealed that
Australian University students experienced a range of
problem due to alcohol including unwanted sexual
involvement, physical violence and accidents.
Additionally, university students are not confident to
refuse drink which aggravates the problem of binge
drinking. Hence, university students inevitably faced
with a situation where they experience social pressure
Young et al. (2006) proposed that focused intervention
of alcohol for university setting would benefit the
university student’s alcohol problem. Therefore, brief
intervention can assist university student to minimise
the harm of alcohol and keep the level of drink at a
Why do we need to do a brief intervention in a
The current trend for brief
intervention utilises a
combination of screening and
intervention. While the
general practitioner usually
provides brief intervention,
however, there is reasonable
evidence which suggests that
this intervention can be
sufficiently delivered by
trained people such as the
pharmacist, nurse (Fitzgerald,
Molloy, MacDonald, &
Moreover, research also
suggests that there are heaps
of barrier while concentrating
on providing brief
intervention for young people
in primary health care setting
(Johnson et al., 2011).
-for more info…List location or contact for specification (or other related documents)
A pragmatic approach to harm minimisation strategies
Concerning the alcohol consumption by the university students, many
evidence empirically support harm minimisation strategies (Cousins,
Connor, & Kypri, 2014; Wachtel & Staniford, 2010).
Firstly, total absenteeism of
alcohol seems to an unrealistic
goal because of cultural and social
acceptance of alcohol in Australia
(Hernandez et al., 2013).
Secondly, university students are
usually not chronic alcoholics and
don't view consuming alcohol as a
problem (Morton & Tighe, 2011).
Principles of harm minimisation strategies
• Delay the use
• Reduce harm
Analysis of brief intervention and harm minimisation
in a university setting
there are several limitations for alcohol discussion with the General Practitioner. Firstly, in
case patient's symptoms not directly linked to the alcohol, they are often not at ease with
alcohol enquiry (Tam et al., 2015). Secondly, there is an element of fear and shame involved
in answering the question regarding alcohol by General Practitioner (Tam et al., 2015).
Berends and Lubman (2013) suggested a tailored approach required for timely intervention
of alcohol problem.
Researchers proposed various solutions to the university student’s accessibility problem of
alcohol services in Australia including community clinics, emergency setting and university
health clinics (Berends & Lubman, 2013; Ehrlich, Haque, Swisher-McClure, & Helmkamp,
2006; Helmkamp, Hungerford, Williams, & Manley, 2003).
(C)- With no
Pre-Contemplative stage -
Individuals at this stage do not
usually consider changing.
Individual often express as 'I enjoy
drinking and doesn't want to
Individual at this juncture is
aware of the harm of
ambivalent to change.
Preparation stage -Individual at
this stage are prepared to act.
The individual will often express
I am ready to cut down on
alcohol. Goal setting strategies
are useful at this stage.
Action stage- Individual at
this stage, are currently
engaged in attempts to
reduce or stop drinking
Maintenance -stage Individual
at this stage successfully
change drinking behaviour,
however, need strategies for
Miller and Rollnick (2002)
elaborate a model developed by
Prochaska and DiClemente which
provide a framework to
understand an individual’s
willingness to change.
Information Letter to Participants
Informed Consent Document
The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test
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