DIgital Alcohol Management ON Demand (DIAMOND) feasibility randomised controlled trial of a web-based intervention to reduce alcohol consumption in people with hazardous and harmful use versus a face-to-face intervention: protocol.
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Pilot Feasibility Stud
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BACKGROUND: "Hazardous and harmful" drinkers make up approximately 23 % of the adult population in England. However, only around 10 % of these people access specialist care, such as face-to-face extended brief treatment in community alcohol services. This may be due to stigma, difficulty accessing services during working hours, a shortage of trained counsellors and limited provision of services in many places. Web-based alcohol treatment programmes may overcome these barriers and may better suit people who are reluctant or unable to attend face-to-face services, but there is a gap in the evidence base for the acceptability, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of these programmes compared with treatment as usual (TAU) in community alcohol services. This study aims investigate the feasibility of all parts of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a psychologically informed web-based alcohol treatment programme called Healthy Living for People who use Alcohol (HeLP-Alcohol) versus TAU in community alcohol services, e.g. recruitment and retention, online data collection methods, and the use and acceptability of the intervention to participants. METHODS: A feasibility RCT delivered in north London community alcohol services, comparing HeLP-Alcohol with TAU. Potential participants are aged ≥18 years referred or self-referred for hazardous and harmful use of alcohol, without co-morbidities or other complex problems. The main purpose of this study is to demonstrate the feasibility of recruiting participants to the study and will test online methods for collecting baseline demographic and outcome questionnaire data, randomising participants and collecting 3-month follow-up data. The acceptability of this intervention will be measured by recruitment and retention rates, automated log-in data collection and an online service satisfaction questionnaire. The feasibility of using tailored text message, email or phone prompt to maintain engagement with the intervention will also be explored. Results of the study will inform a definitive Phase 3 RCT. RESULTS: Recruitment started on 26 September 2014 and will run for 1 year. CONCLUSION: The proposed trial will provide data to inform a fully powered non-inferiority effectiveness and cost-effectiveness RCT comparing HeLP-Alcohol with TAU. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN31789096.