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A qualitative account of young people's experiences of alcohol screening and brief interventions in schools: SIPS Jr-HIGH trial findings

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Grant McGeechan, Dr Steph Scott, Dr Ruth McGovernORCiD, Emerita Professor Elaine McCollORCiD, Professor Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Professor Eileen KanerORCiD



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


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Faculty of Public Health.BACKGROUND: The United Kingdom (UK) has seen a decrease in the number of young people drinking alcohol. However, the UK prevalence of underage drinking still ranks amongst the highest in Western Europe. Whilst there is a wealth of evidence reporting on the effectiveness of both primary, and secondary interventions, there are few reports of the experiences of young people who receive them. METHODS: The present study reports findings from interviews with 33 young people who were involved in an alcohol screening and brief intervention randomized controlled trial in schools in England. All interviews were analysed using inductive applied thematic analysis. RESULTS: Three major themes were identified following the analysis process: 1) drinking identities and awareness of risk; 2) access to support and advice in relation to alcohol use; and 3) appraisal of the intervention and potential impact on alcohol use. CONCLUSIONS: There appeared to be a reluctance from participants to describe themselves as someone who drinks alcohol. Furthermore, those who did drink alcohol often did so with parental permission. There was variation amongst participants as to how comfortable they felt talking about alcohol issues with school staff. Overall participants felt the intervention was useful, but would be better suited to 'heavier' drinkers.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Giles EL, McGeechan GJ, Scott SJ, McGovern R, Boniface S, Ramsay A, Hendrie N, McColl E, Sumnall H, Newbury-Birch D, Kaner E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Public Health

Year: 2020

Volume: 42

Issue: 3

Pages: e259-e267

Print publication date: 01/09/2020

Online publication date: 21/08/2019

Acceptance date: 30/05/2019

Date deposited: 15/10/2020

ISSN (print): 1741-3842

ISSN (electronic): 1741-3850

Publisher: Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdz074

PubMed id: 32812046


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