Working with practitioners to reduce alcohol related harm – embedding brief interventions in Victorian general practices

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Risky alcohol use has ramifications for the health and wellbeing of Victorians and affects families and the wider community through absenteeism, family violence, assaults, and motor vehicle collisions. Brief interventions in primary care can lead to meaningful reductions in alcohol consumption. There are clear primary care guidelines on how to assess and advise people about their alcohol use, but few primary care practitioners routinely screen and help their patient with alcohol use despite the effectiveness of brief interventions.
Alcohol-related harm is disproportionally higher among low-income groups who are almost twice as likely to experience alcohol-related harm compared to high income groups. For this reason, the focus of this project will be on developing a clinical approach tailored for people from low-income groups.
Our team brings expertise in improving primary care provision in other complex areas including obesity, mental healthcare and refugee health. We will bring our successful method to this high priority area of alcohol use with added expertise from addiction specialists, consumer leaders and implementation scientists.
Collaborating with patients and practitioners we will co-design a new approach to increase the capacity of primary care practitioners to use brief interventions for alcohol. We will seek feedback from low-income patients and clinicians working in low-income communities to develop screening tools for use in the waiting room, clinician prompts within the consultation room, and clinical resources tailored to patient needs. This process will be underpinned by evidence and informed by a comprehensive understanding of clinician workflow and the needs of low-income patients.
We will trial the approach in six community general practices in low-income areas to evaluate and refine the approach in readiness for wider dissemination. Our research will result in the increased uptake of brief interventions for alcohol by practitioners in community general practice in low-income communities.
Effective start/end date31/07/1921/06/21


  • Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (trading as VicHealth) (Victoria): AUD243,765.00


  • alcohol
  • general practice
  • brief intervention
  • guideline implementation