Embedding brief interventions for alcohol in general practice: a study protocol for the REACH Project feasibility trial

Elizabeth Ann Sturgiss, Nilakshi Gunatillaka, Lauren Ball, Tina Lam, Suzanne Nielsen, Renée L. O'Donnell, Chris Barton, Helen Skouteris, Chun Wah Michael Tam, David Jacka, Danielle Mazza, Grant Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review


Background: Alcohol is a major source of harm in Australia that disproportionately affects low-income communities. Alcohol brief interventions (ABIs) combine an assessment of a person’s alcohol use with advice to reduce health risks. Despite their effectiveness, ABIs are not routinely performed by clinicians. This article presents a protocol for a feasibility trial of pragmatic implementation strategies and a new set of resources to support clinicians to complete ABIs in Australian general practices. Aim: To explore the facilitators and barriers to increasing the uptake of ABIs in primary care, including acceptability, reach, adoption, fidelity, and sustainability. Design & setting: A mixed-methods evaluation of the uptake of ABIs in general practice clinics serving low-i ncome communities in Melbourne, Australia. The approach is informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and Normalisation Process Theory (NPT). Method: The implementation strategies and resources will be trialled in five general practices over 12 months. The primary outcome will be change in the proportion of adult patients with a complete alcohol history in their electronic medical records. Baseline data collection includes a practice survey to describe practice routines for ABIs and de- identified patient medical record data on completed alcohol histories (repeated at 3, 6, 9, and 12-months post-intervention). Survey and interview data will also be collected from clinicians, patients, and primary health network staff to assess acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. Conclusion: The study will explore how the implementation strategies and resources can improve alcohol screening and management among low-income patients in general practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberBJGPO.2021.0037
Number of pages7
JournalBJGP Open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • alcohol use disorder
  • feasibility studies
  • general practice
  • low income population
  • primary health care

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