Descriptive research into large-scale user data from an established alcohol identification and brief advice (IBA) intervention website

Dylan Andrew Kerr, John Martin Corkery

Research output: Working paper

17 Downloads (Pure)


Alcohol misuse causes significant health harms, including early mortality, increased healthcare and wider governmental costs. Identification and Brief Advice (IBA) interventions can reduce alcohol consumption, prevent alcohol misuse disorder progression, and are cheaper to deliver digitally than in-person. However, high-quality evidence is lacking for delivering IBA interventions, at scale, via publicly available websites. This study uses descriptive data from individuals in the United Kingdom (UK) and some from other countries over a six-year period from DrinkCoach, a website which delivers an IBA intervention developed in the UK delivering tailored interventions based on users’ Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) scores. Researchers employed descriptive statistics, double-tailed Z tests and X2 tests for relationships between variables. In 2018, 60,745 IBA interventions were completed, with 86% of these recording AUDIT scores > 7, indicating risky drinking. Significant positive relationships were identified between the AUDIT score and users’ demographics such as gender and age-group which are well-established as well as new insights into relationships between AUDIT score and the time of the year or day the interventions were accessed and delivered, as well as the follow-up options selected by users. The website attracted a disproportionately higher proportion of risky drinkers completing IBA interventions compared with prevalence estimates or identified through in-person IBA approaches in the UK. The research indicates that websites delivering IBA interventions may support help-seeking behaviour for risky drinkers by providing anonymity and low interaction costs. The research results demonstrated a significant cost-benefit at scale when compared to in-person, particularly in specific local authorities who paid to access website data about their populations. This cost-benefit approach should inform alcohol health funding decisions and warrant further, higher-quality research into outcomes from websites delivering IBA interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2024


  • Alcohol misuse
  • Identification & Brief Advice
  • Digital Alcohol Intervention
  • Brief Intervention
  • Alcohol intervention website


Dive into the research topics of 'Descriptive research into large-scale user data from an established alcohol identification and brief advice (IBA) intervention website'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this