There is a wealth of evidence that supports alcohol Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) in primary care as both effective and cost effective in reducing the risks associated with drinking alcohol. But there remain barriers to implementation of this relatively simple intervention. This project aims to reduce barriers to the implementation of IBA in primary care by providing expert support to nurse mentors.

Key findings

  • The findings of this project suggest that providing a relatively low level of support to nurse mentors based in primary care leads to a significant increase in the delivery of interventions and brief advice (IBA).
  • There was a marked increase in the percentage of patients screening positive at an initial screening test going on to receive IBA from 30% at the beginning of the project to 48% at the end.
  • There was a modest increase in the percentage of patients who received an initial screen being assessed as requiring a brief intervention from 13% at the beginning of the project to 15% at the end indicating that clinicians were identifying increasing or higher risk drinkers more effectively.
  • Following the implementation of the project staff at the surgery appear to be more effective at identifying alcohol-related harm and at providing brief interventions to this group.
  • This project indicates that by supporting nurse mentors in leading on the implementation of IBA there is potential for reducing alcohol- related harm within the existing resources of the surgery. This could support primary care in the practical implementation of an evidence based cost effective intervention which has experienced patchy uptake.

Read the full research on the Alcohol Research UK website.

Read about the Alcohol Concern / Alcohol Research UK merger.