Reference : Randomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care-based facilitated access ...
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Randomised controlled non-inferiority trial of primary care-based facilitated access to an alcohol reduction website: cost-effectiveness analysis
Hunter, Rachael [> >]
Wallace, Paul [> >]
Struzzo, Pierluigi [> >]
Vedova, Roberto Della [> >]
Scafuri, Francesca [> >]
Tersar, Costanza [> >]
Lygidakis, Charilaos mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Integrative Research Unit: Social and Individual Development (INSIDE)]
McGregor, Richard [> >]
Scafato, Emanuele [> >]
Freemantle, Nick [> >]
BMJ Open
[en] primary care ; eHealth ; alcohol drinking
[en] 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.
Researchers ; Professionals

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