Alcohol and disadvantaged men: a feasibility trial of an intervention delivered by mobile phone

Iain K. Crombie (Lead / Corresponding author), Linda Irvine, Donald W. Falconer, Brian Williams, Ian W. Ricketts, Claire Jones, Gerry Humphris, John Norrie, Peter Slane, Peter Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
213 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction and aims

Disadvantaged men suffer substantial harm from heavy drinking. This feasibility study developed and evaluated the methods for a trial of a brief intervention delivered by text messages to disadvantaged men. It aimed to test the methods for recruitment and retention, to monitor engagement with the intervention and assess the overall acceptability of study methods.

Design and Methods

Disadvantaged men aged 25-44 years who had ≥2 episodes of binge drinking (≥8 units in one session) in the preceding month were recruited. Two recruitment strategies were assessed: recruitment from General Practice registers; and by a community outreach strategy. Theoretically and empirically-based text messages were tailored to the target group.


The study recruited 67 disadvantaged men at high risk of alcohol-related harm, exceeding the target of 60. Evaluation showed that 95% of text messages were delivered and the men engaged enthusiastically with the intervention. Retention at follow-up was 96%. Outcomes were successfully measured on all men followed up. This provided data for the sample size calculation for the full trial. Post-study evaluation showed high levels of satisfaction with the study.

Discussion and Conclusions

This study has shown that disadvantaged men can be recruited and follow-up data obtained in an alcohol intervention study. The study methods were acceptable to the participants. The men recruited were at high risk of alcohol-related harms. It also clarified ways in which the recruitment strategy, the baseline questionnaire and the intervention could be improved. The full trial is currently underway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number4
Early online date13 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2017


  • text messaging
  • binge drinking
  • vulnerable populations
  • men
  • feasibility studies


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