Cross-centre collaboration

New technologies for reducing excessive alcohol use

Fuse researchers are working with four other leading academic centres in applied public health research to identify how new technologies can be used effectively to reduce hazardous and harmful drinking.

The project, with University College London, University of Bristol, University of Sheffield and the LiLaC collaboration*, will also explore the views of alcohol service users about the acceptability and usefulness of digital technology to support alcohol interventions.  This will result in in the design and evaluation of a smartphone application to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

New technological applications are developing rapidly and are easily available to the public; however there is little evidence of their effectiveness in improving health.

The research will consist of a number of systematic reviews that will examine existing digital interventions for reducing alcohol consumption, how they engage potential users and how helpful these users think the interventions are. The reviews will focus in particular on the evidence and the theoretical basis for mobile phone apps.

The reviews will inform the prototype of a new interactive mobile phone app, which will be tested with excessive alcohol consumers recruited from the NHS Choices and Change4Life websites. The evaluation will compare the use of the new app with an information-only version of the app to assess impact on drinking behaviour. The long-term cost-effectiveness of the intervention will be examined using the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model (SAMP).

The first review on digital interventions for reducing alcohol consumption was completed in September 2015 and a final report was submitted to the NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR), which will be made available on their website in 2016. The findings were presented at a high-profile meeting with policy makers from Public Health England, Department of Health and the Home Office and discussed with various Behavioural Insights Team in North East England and staff at the What Works’ centre nationally.

Contact information: Prof Eileen Kaner, Professor of Public Health & Primary Care Research, email:, tel: +44 (0) 191 208 7884.


Presentations and papers:

*  LiLaC is a collaboration between the University of Liverpool and the University of Lancaster


Take a look at some other examples of Fuse research activity in the NIHR School for Public Health Research.

Last modified: Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:30:35 GMT