Reducing alcohol related harms amongst early onset drinkers: Results from a large scale cRCT

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Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP) is a combined classroom curriculum and parental intervention aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and related harms amongst secondary school aged children (aged 11-12 at the start of the programme). Primary outcome analysis of a recent large scale randomised control trail indicated that, when compared against education as normal, STAMPP was effective in reducing the prevalence of self-reported heavy episodic drinking (17% versus 26%; odds ratio=0.60, 95% CI 0.49-0.73), but not alcohol related harms at 33 months post baseline (incident rate ratio = 0.92, CI 0.78-1.05). This poster present findings from subgroup analysis exploring differential treatment effects of the intervention on early onset drinkers (drinkers at baseline) compared to non-drinkers at baseline.

The STAMPP trail was a cluster randomised controlled trial across 105 schools (N=12738 pupils) in Northern Ireland (NI) and Scotland. Schools were randomised (1:1) to either receiving STAMPP or education as normal. During randomisation, all schools were stratified by free school meal provision and schools in NI were further stratified by school type (boys school/girls school/co-educational). Eligible students were in school year 8/S1 (aged 11-12) at baseline in June 2012. The study had two primary outcomes at 33 months (from baseline); the prevalence of self-reported heavy episodic drinking (HED) in the previous 30 days and the number of self-reported alcohol related harms in the previous six months. Multilevel logistic (HED) and negative binomial (Harms) models were estimated (with intervention as a level 2 covariate) to assess the intervention effect.

For heavy episodic drinking, the intervention arm was significant in both the drinker only models (both last year and ever use) and the corresponding non-drinker only models. This indicates that no differential intervention effect on heavy episodic drinking, dependent on baseline drinking, was detected. However, for alcohol harms due to own drinking, whilst the intervention was associated with a significant reduction in the number of self-reported harms amongst drinkers (either defined as ever or last year use at baseline), it did not reduce self-reported harms amongst the non-drinkers at baseline.

The results provide some support for the effectiveness of a combined classroom and brief parental intervention for reducing heavy episodic drinking across both early and later onset teenage drinkers. But in relation to alcohol related harms, the intervention effect is observed only amongst early onset drinkers (drinking at or before age 12). The methodological and practical implications of these findings will be discussed
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018
EventSociety for Research On Adolescence: Biennial Meeting - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: 12 Apr 201814 Apr 2018


ConferenceSociety for Research On Adolescence
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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