Background: Effective interventions are required to reduce alcohol consumption and its associated harms at the population level. Reducing the alcohol content of beverages has the potential to reduce alcohol consumption through non-conscious processes. Before implementing a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to assess the effect of alcohol strength on alcohol consumption its feasibility needs to established. This study aims to pilot a RCT and obtain data to estimate key parameters required when designing a RCT. These key parameters include the direction and size of the intervention effect, the efficacy and efficiency of the study processes, and the rates of licensed premises recruitment, participant recruitment and attrition.
Methods: A double blind randomised controlled cross-over pilot trial comparing the number of units of reduced strength lager consumed and the number of units of regular strength lager consumed in a single drinking occasion within licensed premises in the UK. Descriptive statistics will report the efficacy and efficiency of the study processes, and the rates of licensed premises recruitment, participant recruitment and attrition. Mean and 95% confidence intervals will be used to compare the consumption of alcohol, and the duration of participation in study sessions, between the intervention arm and the control arm. The mean and standard deviation of UK units of alcohol consumed will be used to calculate a sample size for a definitive RCT.
Discussion: This is the first naturalistic experimental study to assess the effect of alcohol strength on alcohol consumption in a single drinking occasion within licensed premises. Results from this pilot study will establish the feasibility of, and inform key data parameters for, a larger-scale study.
Perman-Howe, Parvati R.
Davies, Emma L.
Foxcroft, David R.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development
Year of publication: 2018Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-08-08