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Modifying Alcohol Consumption to Reduce Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study of a Complex Community-based Intervention for Men

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Falko Sniehotta



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© The Author 2017. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Objectives: Being obese and drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week places men at very high risk of developing liver disease. This study assessed the feasibility of a trial to reduce alcohol consumption. It tested the recruitment strategy, engagement with the intervention, retention and study acceptability. Methods: Men aged 35-64 years who drank > 21 units of alcohol per week and had a BMI > 30 were recruited by two methods: from GP patient registers and by community outreach. The intervention was delivered by a face to face session followed by a series of text messages. Trained lay people (Study Coordinators) delivered the face to face session. Participants were followed up for 5 months from baseline to measure weekly alcohol consumption and BMI. Results: The recruitment target of 60 was exceeded, with 69 men recruited and randomized. At baseline, almost all the participants (95%) exceeded the threshold for a 19-fold increase in the risk of dying from liver disease. The intervention was delivered with high fidelity. A very high follow-up rate was achieved (98%) and the outcomes for the full trial were measured. Process evaluation showed that participants responded as intended to key steps in the behaviour change strategy. The acceptability of the study methods was high: e.g. 80% of men would recommend the study to others. Conclusions: This feasibility study identified a group at high risk of liver disease. It showed that a full trial could be conducted to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Trial registration: Current controlled trials: ISRCTN55309164. Trial funding: National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA). Short summary: This feasibility study recruited 69 men at high risk of developing liver disease. The novel intervention, to reduce alcohol consumption through the motivation of weight loss, was well received. A very high follow-up rate was achieved. Process evaluation showed that participants engaged with key components of the behaviour change strategy.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Irvine L, Crombie IK, Cunningham KB, Williams B, Sniehotta FF, Norrie J, Melson AJ, Jones C, Rice P, Slane PW, Achison M, McKenzie A, Dimova ED, Allan S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alcohol and Alcoholism

Year: 2017

Volume: 52

Issue: 6

Pages: 677-684

Online publication date: 18/09/2017

Acceptance date: 06/09/2017

Date deposited: 25/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0735-0414

ISSN (electronic): 1464-3502

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agx067


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