There is a need to develop and implement optimal alcohol interventions to tackle the impact on public health from harmful drinking.
Alcohol related harms such as liver disease, present major costs to the NHS from unplanned treatment and hospital readmissions. Patients who are discharged from hospital suffer from a lack of availability of alcohol treatment to prevent readmission. Morbidity and deaths from alcoholic liver disease have doubled in the last twenty years, with over 50% of people dying in the first year after treatment amongst those who returned to drinking alcohol.
We want to develop alcohol interventions to benefit a wide population of harmful and dependent drinkers who have different treatment needs.
Aims of our research
• Improve after-care of patients discharged from hospital for alcoholic liver disease
• Investigate the effectiveness of assertive outreach treatment for liver disease in a randomised controlled trial
• Advance and improve treatment for alcoholic liver disease.
• Investigate the use of wearable alcohol monitoring
• Test the function and feasibility of wearable technology and apps
• Offer support to harmful alcohol drinkers in changing their consumption by wearable and app technology.
How our work is addressing multimorbidities and inequalities
Harmful drinking is associated with physical, mental and social harm which have a negative impact on the health and well-being of harmful drinkers. Alcoholic liver disease is associated with depression and anxiety which can lead to isolation from friends and family and loss of work. Health inequality stems from poor access to treatment due to the negative impacts of alcohol drinking on lifestyles, as well as variation in treatment availability across different areas.
Implementation of evidence-based alcohol interventions is a key priority for all south London local authorities and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). We will therefore work collaboratively with the NHS, local authorities, charities and patients and the public, to maximise and evaluate the impact of implementation of effective interventions, both locally and nationally, with an emphasis on health economic impact.
We are also working with NHS services and commissioners from across the UK to implement assertive outreach service. Software developers will help us to test the use of wearable alcohol monitoring and alcohol apps.
How we are involving patients, services users, carers and public
We have presented our projects to carers and patients with experience of alcohol harm and treatment. Two patient and public involvement representatives are permanent members of our ARC alcohol management group and join discussions about the development and progress of the ARC studies to help inform our research.