Tag Archives: IBA alcohol free

‘IBA direct’ evaluation shows people welcome IBA in public

21 Dec

An evaluation has shown that taking ‘IBA direct’ to people on the streets of South London was found to be highly effective in engaging people and delivering brief intervention.

The project, branded ‘The London Challenge: are you healthier than your mates?’, took place over three days in August and tested a number of methods to engage passersby and deliver IBA.

Resonant, a specialist behaviour change agency, had been commissioned by NHS Lambeth to deliver the activity in a way which would engage at-risk drinkers in their 20’s as an identified target group. Within the borough, this age range were found to be less likely to access services where they might receive IBA, but many were found to be drinking at risky levels.

As part of the ‘The London Challenge’, four ‘brand ambassadors’ were trained to engage passersby and offer IBA. Free ‘mocktails’ were offered as an incentive to ‘hook’ the public into completing the AUDIT.

Resonant developed the approach based on research and ‘co-creation’ with the target group who identified that answering alcohol questions and receiving ‘brief advice’ was acceptable as long as it was engaging and non-judgemental.

The evaluation was independently conducted by the South London Health Innovation Network (HIN) Alcohol team.

Rod Watson, Senior Project Manager (Alcohol) for the Health Innovation Network highlights some key observations on the evaluation findings:

  • The service evaluation found IBA Direct is feasible and acceptable at being delivered in a public setting by non-health professionals.
  • Over the course of the three days of the project, 402 people received IBA.
  • The brand ambassadors engaged people with professionalism and their approach was central to the large number of people taking part.
  • A small follow up sample of the 402 people who received IBA direct showed a reduction in AUDIT scores six weeks following the intervention. (Note: caution should be exercised here as no control group was used).
  • A participant feedback form was completed by 61 people. Participants rated both the ‘London Challenge’ and the service they received from a brand ambassador highly.
  • All respondents found the setting to be suitable and 90% stated they would take part in this service in a public setting again. There was nothing reported back that indicated any concerns from people about the public setting of the project.

As such the project shows significant potential for delivering IBA ‘direct’ to people in public spaces. Given the challenges facing IBA in other settings, this approach could offer a promising channel to reach new groups of at-risk drinkers.

The full report can be downloaded here:

‘The London Challenge: are you healthier than your mates?’ Service Evaluation of Alcohol Identification and Brief Advice Direct to the Public [pdf]

To find out more about IBA direct please get in touch.

Aim for an extra ‘alcohol free day’?

5 May
Mocktail anyone?

Mocktail anyone?

‘Brief advice bullets’ are motivators or tips to offer to people contemplating cutting down their drinking, like improved sleep, switching to lower strength drinks or reduced hangovers. However one of the most achievable goals for many drinkers seems to be to aim for an extra alcohol free day or two within the week.

Adding an extra alcohol free day often works best for those who have got into a ‘regular’ drinking pattern, perhaps without realising it.  The biggest trend in alcohol consumption has been the rise in home drinking, often synonymous with ‘a glass of wine to relax at the end of the day’.

Many such drinkers may have assumed that because they are not ‘binge drinking’, there are not significant health risks. Yet someone drinking an average of 2 medium glasses of 13% wine each night is clocking up around 32 units a week. Adding just two alcohol free nights will bring that down to around 23 units, much closer to the weekly guideline of 21 for men.

However since the recommended guidelines were changed from a weekly to a daily guideline, one of the concerns is that the message of at least two alcohol free days has been lost. Do most people realise that ‘not regularly exceeding 2 to 3 units (women) or 3 to 4 units (men)’ means having at least two nights of a week off the sauce? Even drinking five nights of the week within the daily guidelines seems a little too close to a ‘habit’ for my comfort. Perhaps the forthcoming change to the alcohol consumption guideline will better account for alcohol free days.

Of course like all ‘ brief advice bullets’, aiming to add an extra alcohol free night or two won’t appeal to everyone. But over the course of a week, a month, a year.. those health, financial or functioning improvements could really add up.