Recommendations for research

The PDG recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to cost effectiveness and duration of effect. It also takes into account any harmful or negative side effects.

1 Advertising

How does advertising by industry and health agencies affect the drinking behaviour of the population as whole? (This includes the use of new media.)

2 Policies

What is the effect on alcohol consumption of combining different policies on price, promotion and availability?

3 Screening tools

Which screening tool should be considered as the 'gold standard' for assessing the drinking behaviour of those under the age of 18?

4 Brief interventions

Are brief interventions effective and cost effective in reducing alcohol use among various subgroups of the population, such as:

  • those under 16 and over 65

  • people from some black and minority ethnic groups

  • pregnant women attending antenatal care?

5 Screening and brief interventions

Are screening and brief alcohol interventions effective and cost-effective in:

  • medical settings outside primary care and emergency departments (for example, in district hospitals or mental health settings)

  • non-medical settings (for example, on criminal justice or social services premises, in pharmacies or in the workplace)

  • voluntary sector organisations?

6 Factors

What factors (conditions and components) ensure a brief intervention is effective in promoting low-risk alcohol consumption?

7 Local services

To what extent are local services responding to the needs of children affected either by parental alcohol misuse or their own drinking – and which interventions are effective in helping these families?

More detail on the gaps in the evidence identified during development of this guidance is provided in appendix D.