Qualitative process study of community pharmacist brief alcohol intervention effectiveness trial: Can research participation effects explain a null finding?


Quirk, A; MacNeil, V; Dhital, R; Whittlesea, C; Norman, I; McCambridge, J; (2016) Qualitative process study of community pharmacist brief alcohol intervention effectiveness trial: Can research participation effects explain a null finding? Drug and alcohol dependence, 161. pp. 36-41. ISSN 0376-8716 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.01.023

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Abstract

AIMS: This qualitative process study, nested within a randomised controlled trial evaluating community pharmacist brief alcohol intervention delivery, aims to explore participants' engagement with the trial, so as to identify whether research participation effects may explain why the brief intervention was not found to be effective.<br/> METHOD: Qualitative interviews were conducted with 24 randomly selected participants approximately one month after the end of the trial. Semi structured Interviews were conducted by telephone in which participants were asked to give a chronological account of their trial participation, leading to a discussion of possible impacts. These were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using the Framework method.<br/> RESULTS: A range of motivations for taking part in the trial were identified, including pharmacy visitors wanting to obtain an assessment of their drinking. Participants in both arms of the trial spoke of the potent effect that screening had on them. All participants were exposed to discussions about alcohol with empathic pharmacists and, as this is an integral intervention component, this constitutes contamination. Participants' pre-existing ideas about the nature of alcohol problems had an important bearing on how relevant they thought the intervention was to them.<br/> CONCLUSION: A detailed appreciation of participant engagement with the trial can provide a strong basis for interpretation of trial outcome data, and in this instance does help explain the null finding. Other findings also indicate the need for dedicated studies of public understanding of the nature of alcohol problems, and their implications for receptivity to brief interventions.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 26875673
Web of Science ID: 373419100006
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2537323

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