Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Clin Pharm. 2013 Dec;35(6):1178-87. doi: 10.1007/s11096-013-9845-1. Epub 2013 Sep 8.

Alcohol brief intervention in community pharmacies: a feasibility study of outcomes and customer experiences.

Author information

King's Health Partners, Pharmaceutical Science Clinical Academic Group, Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King's College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London, SE1 9NH, UK.



Studies indicate that community pharmacy-based alcohol brief intervention (BI) is feasible. However, few studies report significant reductions in post-BI alcohol consumption and customer experience. Cost-effectiveness has not been previously examined.


This 5 month study adopted a single group pre- and post-experimental design to: (1) assess uptake of the community pharmacy alcohol BI service; (2) establish post-BI changes in alcohol consumption for hazardous drinkers; (3) report the acceptability of the service to customers who received it; and (4) undertake a preliminary economic evaluation of the service through establishing whether pharmacy-based alcohol BI affected health and social care costs, including lost employment costs, and whether it was cost-effective.


26 community pharmacies in south London, UK.


Trained pharmacists used the AUDIT-C and a retrospective 7-day Drinking Diary to identify risky drinkers and inform feedback and advice. Harmful drinkers were referred to their general practitioner and/or specialist alcohol services. A confidential service feedback questionnaire was completed by alcohol BI recipients. Baseline and 3-month follow-up telephone interviews were conducted with hazardous and low risk drinkers to assess post-BI alcohol use change and service cost-effectiveness.


AUDIT-C, 7-day alcohol unit consumption, drinking days, cost utilisation data.


Of the 663 eligible customers offered alcohol BI, 141 (21 %) took up the service. Three-quarters of customers were identified as risky drinkers. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 61 hazardous/low risk drinkers (response rate = 58 %). Hazardous drinkers were found to significantly reduce their 7-day alcohol unit consumption and drinking days, but not AUDIT-C scores. The majority of harmful drinkers (91 %, n = 10) who were contactable post-BI had accessed further alcohol related services. Customer feedback was generally positive. Over 75 % of customers would recommend the service to others. The cost of delivering the service was estimated to be £ 134. The difference in service costs pre-BI and post-BI was not statistically significant and remained non-significant when calculated on 500 customers receiving the intervention.


Community pharmacy-based alcohol BI is a low cost service that may not have immediate beneficial impact on health and social service use, but can be effective in reducing drinking in hazardous drinkers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center