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See detailRandomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care-based facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website
Wallace, Paul; Struzzo, Pierliugi; Della Vedova, Roberto et al

in BMJ Open (2017), 7(11),

Background: Brief interventions (BIs) delivered in primary care have been shown to be effective in reducing risky drinking, but implementation is limited. Facilitated access to a digital application ... [more ▼]

Background: Brief interventions (BIs) delivered in primary care have been shown to be effective in reducing risky drinking, but implementation is limited. Facilitated access to a digital application offers a novel alternative to face-to-face intervention, but its relative effectiveness is unknown.Methods: Primary care-based, non-inferiority, randomised controlled trial comparing general practitioner (GP) facilitated access to an interactive alcohol reduction website (FA) with face-to-face BI for risky drinking. Patients screening positive on the short Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) were invited to participate in the trial. Assessment at baseline, 3 months and 12 months was carried out using AUDIT and EQ-5D-5L questionnaires. Findings: 58 participating GPs approached 9080 patients of whom 4529 (49.9%) logged on, 3841 (84.8%) undertook screening, 822 (21.4%) screened positive and 763 (19.9%) were recruited. 347 (45.5%) were allocated to FA and 416 (54.5%) to BI. At 3 months, subjects in FA group with an AUDIT score of ≥8 reduced from 95 (27.5%) to 85 (26.8%) while those in BI group increased from 123 (20.6%) to 141 (37%). Differences between groups were principally due to responses to AUDIT question 10. Analysis of primary outcome indicated non-inferiority of FA compared with BI, and prespecified subgroup analysis indicated benefits for older patients and those with higher levels of computer literacy and lower baseline severity. Additional analyses undertaken to take account of bias in response to AUDIT question 10 failed to support non-inferiority within the prespecified 10% boundary.Interpretation: Prespecified protocol-driven analyses of the trial indicate that FA is non-inferior to BI; however, identified bias in the outcome measure and further supportive analyses question the robustness of this finding. It is therefore not possible to draw firm conclusions from this trial, and further research is needed to determine whether the findings can be replicated using more robust outcome measures.Trial registration number NCT01638338; Results. [less ▲]

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See detailRandomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care-based facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website: cost-effectiveness analysis
Hunter, Rachael; Wallace, Paul; Struzzo, Pierluigi et al

in BMJ Open (2017), 7(11),

Objectives To evaluate the 12-month costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained to the Italian National Health Service of facilitated access to a website for hazardous drinkers compared with a ... [more ▼]

Objectives To evaluate the 12-month costs and quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained to the Italian National Health Service of facilitated access to a website for hazardous drinkers compared with a standard face-to-face brief intervention (BI). Design Randomised 1:1 non-inferiority trial. Setting Practices of 58 general practitioners (GPs) in Italy. Participants Of 9080 patients (>18 years old) approached to take part in the trial, 4529 (49·9%) logged on to the website and 3841 (84.8%) undertook online screening for hazardous drinking. 822 (21.4%) screened positive and 763 (19.9%) were recruited to the trial. Interventions Patients were randomised to receive either a face-to-face BI or access via a brochure from their GP to an alcohol reduction website (facilitated access). Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome is the cost per QALY gained of facilitated access compared with face-to-face. A secondary analysis includes total costs and benefits per 100 patients, including number of hazardous drinkers prevented at 12 months. Results The average time required for the face-to-face BI was 8 min (95% CI 7.5 min to 8.6 min). Given the maximum time taken for facilitated access of 5 min, face-to-face is an additional 3 min: equivalent to having time for another GP appointment for every three patients referred to the website. Complete case analysis adjusting for baseline the difference in QALYs for facilitated access is 0.002 QALYs per patient (95% CI −0.007 to 0.011). Conclusions Facilitated access to a website to reduce hazardous drinking costs less than a face-to-face BI given by a GP with no worse outcomes. The lower cost of facilitated access, particularly in regards to investment of time, may facilitate the increase in provision of BIs for hazardous drinking. Trial registration number NCT01638338;Post-results. [less ▲]

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See detailRandomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care based facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website (EFAR-FVG)
Wallace, Paul; Struzzo, Piero; della Vedova, Roberto et al

in Addiction Science and Clinical Practice (2013)

Introduction There is a strong body of evidence demonstrating effectiveness of brief interventions by primary care professionals for risky drinkers but implementation levels remain low. Facilitated access ... [more ▼]

Introduction There is a strong body of evidence demonstrating effectiveness of brief interventions by primary care professionals for risky drinkers but implementation levels remain low. Facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website constitutes an innovative approach to brief intervention, offering a time-saving alternative to face to face intervention, but it is not known whether it is as effective. Objective To determine whether facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website is equivalent to face to face intervention. Methods Randomised controlled non-inferiority trial for risky drinkers comparing facilitated access to a dedicated website with face to face brief intervention conducted in primary care settings in the Region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy. Adult patients are given a leaflet inviting them to log on to a website to complete the AUDIT-C alcohol screening questionnaire. Screen positives are requested to complete an online trial module including consent, baseline assessment and randomisation to either standard intervention by the practitioner or facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website. Follow up assessment of risky drinking is undertaken online at 1 month, 3 months and 1 year using the full AUDIT questionnaire. Proportions of risky drinkers in each group will be calculated and non-inferiority assessed against a specified margin of 10%. The trial is being undertaken as an initial pilot and a subsequent main trial. Results 12 practices have participated in the pilot, and more than 1300 leaflets have been distributed. 89 patients have been recruited to the trial with a one month follow-up rate of 79%. Discussion The findings of the pilot study suggest that the trial design is feasible, though modifications will be made to optimize performance in the main trial which will commence in January 2014. Plans are concurrently underway to replicate the trial in Australia, and potentially in the UK and Spain. [less ▲]

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See detailA randomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care-based facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website (EFAR-FVG): the study protocol.
Struzzo, Pierluigi; Scafato, Emanuele; McGregor, Richard et al

in BMJ open (2013), 3(2),

INTRODUCTION: There is a strong body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of brief interventions by primary care professionals for risky drinkers. However, implementation levels remain low because ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION: There is a strong body of evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of brief interventions by primary care professionals for risky drinkers. However, implementation levels remain low because of time constraints and other factors. Facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website offers primary care professionals a time-saving alternative to standard face-to-face intervention, but it is not known whether it is as effective. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A randomised controlled non-inferiority trial for risky drinkers comparing facilitated access to a dedicated website with standard face-to-face brief intervention to be conducted in primary care settings in the Region of Friuli Giulia Venezia, Italy. Adult patients will be given a leaflet inviting them to log on to a website to complete the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) alcohol screening questionnaire. Screen positives will be requested to complete an online trial module including consent, baseline assessment and randomisation to either standard intervention by the practitioner or facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website. Follow-up assessment of risky drinking will be undertaken online at 1 month, 3 months and 1 year using the full AUDIT questionnaire. Proportions of risky drinkers in each group will be calculated and non-inferiority assessed against a specified margin of 10%. Assuming a reduction of 30% of risky drinkers receiving standard intervention, 1000 patients will be required to give 90% power to reject the null hypothesis. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol was approved by the Isontina Independent Local Ethics Committee on 14 June 2012. The findings of the trial will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals, national and international conference presentations and public events involving the local administrations of the towns where the trial participants are resident. REGISTRATION DETAILS: Trial registration number NCT: 01638338. [less ▲]

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