Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT

Iain Crombie, Linda Irvine, Brian Williams, Falko Sniehotta, Dennis Petrie, Claire Jones, John Norrie, Josie Evans, Carol Emslie, Peter Rice, Peter Slane, Gerry Humphris, IW Ricketts, Ambrose Melson, PT Donnan, A McKenzie, L Huang, M Achison

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Abstract

BackgroundSocially disadvantaged men are more likely to binge drink frequently and to experience high levels of alcohol-related harm.ObjectivesTo test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a text message intervention in reducing the frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men.Study designA four-centre, parallel-group, pragmatic, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted. Randomisation was carried out using a secure remote web-based system. It was stratified by participating centre and recruitment method and restricted using block sizes of randomly varying lengths.SettingThe study was conducted in the community. Members of the public helped to develop the study methods.ParticipantsParticipants were men aged 25–44 years who had =¿2 episodes of binge drinking (>¿8 units of alcohol in a single session) in the preceding 28 days. Men were recruited from areas of high deprivation.InterventionsAn empirically and theoretically based text message intervention was delivered by 112 interactive text messages over a 12-week period. The control group received an attentional control comprising 89 text messages on general health.Primary outcome measureThe primary outcome measure was the proportion of men consuming >¿8 units of alcohol on =¿3 occasions (in the previous 28 days) at 12 months post intervention.ResultsThe recruitment target of 798 was exceeded and 825 men were randomised. Retention was high and similar in the intervention (84.9%) and control (86.5%) groups. Most men in the intervention group engaged enthusiastically with the text messages: almost all (92%) replied to text messages and over two-thirds (67%) replied more than 10 times. The intervention was estimated to have had a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome at the 12-month follow-up [odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 1.08]. This corresponds to a net reduction of 5.7% in regular binge drinking. Five secondary outcomes showed small non-significant and inconsistent effects on alcohol consumption, with one suggesting a positive effect and four suggesting an adverse effect. Both the short- and the long-term cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) analysis suggested that the brief intervention was dominated by a ‘do-nothing’ option. The intervention’s impacts on patterns of alcohol consumption, QALYs and downstream costs were inconsistent and uncertain.LimitationsThe study used an active control that, combined with the recruitment procedures and baseline assessments, could have biased the treatment effect towards the null. The measurement of alcohol consumption relied on self-reported drinking.ConclusionsThe trial has demonstrated that it is possible to recruit and retain large numbers of socially disadvantaged men in a research study. The text messages delivered a complex theoretically and empirically based intervention that fostered enthusiastic engagement with the key components of the behaviour change sequence. The intervention produced a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome, with wide CIs. Further research is needed to reduce uncertainty about the treatment effect. The methods developed for this study provide a platform for the design and testing of interventions to reduce inequalities in health.Future workA future trial could reduce the uncertainty around the treatment effect of the intervention.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN07695192.FundingThis study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme and will be published in full in Public Health Research; Vol. 6, No. 6. See NIHR Journals Library website for further information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research
Volume6
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018

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Text Messaging
Binge Drinking
Vulnerable Populations
Research
Alcohol Drinking
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
Alcohols
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Uncertainty
Public Health
Costs and Cost Analysis
Control Groups
Health
Random Allocation
Drinking
Libraries
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Therapeutics
Randomized Controlled Trials
Odds Ratio

Keywords

  • text messages
  • binge drinking
  • socially disadvantaged me

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Crombie, I., Irvine, L., Williams, B., Sniehotta, F., Petrie, D., Jones, C., ... Achison, M. (2018). Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT. Public Health Research, 6(6). https://doi.org/10.3310/phr06060
Crombie, Iain ; Irvine, Linda ; Williams, Brian ; Sniehotta, Falko ; Petrie, Dennis ; Jones, Claire ; Norrie, John ; Evans, Josie ; Emslie, Carol ; Rice, Peter ; Slane, Peter ; Humphris, Gerry ; Ricketts, IW ; Melson, Ambrose ; Donnan, PT ; McKenzie, A ; Huang, L ; Achison, M. / Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT. In: Public Health Research. 2018 ; Vol. 6, No. 6.
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abstract = "BackgroundSocially disadvantaged men are more likely to binge drink frequently and to experience high levels of alcohol-related harm.ObjectivesTo test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a text message intervention in reducing the frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men.Study designA four-centre, parallel-group, pragmatic, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted. Randomisation was carried out using a secure remote web-based system. It was stratified by participating centre and recruitment method and restricted using block sizes of randomly varying lengths.SettingThe study was conducted in the community. Members of the public helped to develop the study methods.ParticipantsParticipants were men aged 25–44 years who had =¿2 episodes of binge drinking (>¿8 units of alcohol in a single session) in the preceding 28 days. Men were recruited from areas of high deprivation.InterventionsAn empirically and theoretically based text message intervention was delivered by 112 interactive text messages over a 12-week period. The control group received an attentional control comprising 89 text messages on general health.Primary outcome measureThe primary outcome measure was the proportion of men consuming >¿8 units of alcohol on =¿3 occasions (in the previous 28 days) at 12 months post intervention.ResultsThe recruitment target of 798 was exceeded and 825 men were randomised. Retention was high and similar in the intervention (84.9{\%}) and control (86.5{\%}) groups. Most men in the intervention group engaged enthusiastically with the text messages: almost all (92{\%}) replied to text messages and over two-thirds (67{\%}) replied more than 10 times. The intervention was estimated to have had a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome at the 12-month follow-up [odds ratio 0.79, 95{\%} confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 1.08]. This corresponds to a net reduction of 5.7{\%} in regular binge drinking. Five secondary outcomes showed small non-significant and inconsistent effects on alcohol consumption, with one suggesting a positive effect and four suggesting an adverse effect. Both the short- and the long-term cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) analysis suggested that the brief intervention was dominated by a ‘do-nothing’ option. The intervention’s impacts on patterns of alcohol consumption, QALYs and downstream costs were inconsistent and uncertain.LimitationsThe study used an active control that, combined with the recruitment procedures and baseline assessments, could have biased the treatment effect towards the null. The measurement of alcohol consumption relied on self-reported drinking.ConclusionsThe trial has demonstrated that it is possible to recruit and retain large numbers of socially disadvantaged men in a research study. The text messages delivered a complex theoretically and empirically based intervention that fostered enthusiastic engagement with the key components of the behaviour change sequence. The intervention produced a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome, with wide CIs. Further research is needed to reduce uncertainty about the treatment effect. The methods developed for this study provide a platform for the design and testing of interventions to reduce inequalities in health.Future workA future trial could reduce the uncertainty around the treatment effect of the intervention.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN07695192.FundingThis study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme and will be published in full in Public Health Research; Vol. 6, No. 6. See NIHR Journals Library website for further information.",
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Crombie, I, Irvine, L, Williams, B, Sniehotta, F, Petrie, D, Jones, C, Norrie, J, Evans, J, Emslie, C, Rice, P, Slane, P, Humphris, G, Ricketts, IW, Melson, A, Donnan, PT, McKenzie, A, Huang, L & Achison, M 2018, 'Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT', Public Health Research, vol. 6, no. 6. https://doi.org/10.3310/phr06060

Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT. / Crombie, Iain; Irvine, Linda; Williams, Brian; Sniehotta, Falko; Petrie, Dennis; Jones, Claire; Norrie, John; Evans, Josie; Emslie, Carol; Rice, Peter; Slane, Peter; Humphris, Gerry; Ricketts, IW; Melson, Ambrose; Donnan, PT; McKenzie, A; Huang, L; Achison, M.

In: Public Health Research, Vol. 6, No. 6, 18.06.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Text message intervention to reduce frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men: the TRAM RCT

AU - Crombie, Iain

AU - Irvine, Linda

AU - Williams, Brian

AU - Sniehotta, Falko

AU - Petrie, Dennis

AU - Jones, Claire

AU - Norrie, John

AU - Evans, Josie

AU - Emslie, Carol

AU - Rice, Peter

AU - Slane, Peter

AU - Humphris, Gerry

AU - Ricketts, IW

AU - Melson, Ambrose

AU - Donnan, PT

AU - McKenzie, A

AU - Huang, L

AU - Achison, M

N1 - Author provided confirmation of publication email. Acceptance date is July 2017 from final article - used last date of month. ET 9/10/18 Available in Enlighten: http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/164248/

PY - 2018/6/18

Y1 - 2018/6/18

N2 - BackgroundSocially disadvantaged men are more likely to binge drink frequently and to experience high levels of alcohol-related harm.ObjectivesTo test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a text message intervention in reducing the frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men.Study designA four-centre, parallel-group, pragmatic, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted. Randomisation was carried out using a secure remote web-based system. It was stratified by participating centre and recruitment method and restricted using block sizes of randomly varying lengths.SettingThe study was conducted in the community. Members of the public helped to develop the study methods.ParticipantsParticipants were men aged 25–44 years who had =¿2 episodes of binge drinking (>¿8 units of alcohol in a single session) in the preceding 28 days. Men were recruited from areas of high deprivation.InterventionsAn empirically and theoretically based text message intervention was delivered by 112 interactive text messages over a 12-week period. The control group received an attentional control comprising 89 text messages on general health.Primary outcome measureThe primary outcome measure was the proportion of men consuming >¿8 units of alcohol on =¿3 occasions (in the previous 28 days) at 12 months post intervention.ResultsThe recruitment target of 798 was exceeded and 825 men were randomised. Retention was high and similar in the intervention (84.9%) and control (86.5%) groups. Most men in the intervention group engaged enthusiastically with the text messages: almost all (92%) replied to text messages and over two-thirds (67%) replied more than 10 times. The intervention was estimated to have had a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome at the 12-month follow-up [odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 1.08]. This corresponds to a net reduction of 5.7% in regular binge drinking. Five secondary outcomes showed small non-significant and inconsistent effects on alcohol consumption, with one suggesting a positive effect and four suggesting an adverse effect. Both the short- and the long-term cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) analysis suggested that the brief intervention was dominated by a ‘do-nothing’ option. The intervention’s impacts on patterns of alcohol consumption, QALYs and downstream costs were inconsistent and uncertain.LimitationsThe study used an active control that, combined with the recruitment procedures and baseline assessments, could have biased the treatment effect towards the null. The measurement of alcohol consumption relied on self-reported drinking.ConclusionsThe trial has demonstrated that it is possible to recruit and retain large numbers of socially disadvantaged men in a research study. The text messages delivered a complex theoretically and empirically based intervention that fostered enthusiastic engagement with the key components of the behaviour change sequence. The intervention produced a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome, with wide CIs. Further research is needed to reduce uncertainty about the treatment effect. The methods developed for this study provide a platform for the design and testing of interventions to reduce inequalities in health.Future workA future trial could reduce the uncertainty around the treatment effect of the intervention.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN07695192.FundingThis study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme and will be published in full in Public Health Research; Vol. 6, No. 6. See NIHR Journals Library website for further information.

AB - BackgroundSocially disadvantaged men are more likely to binge drink frequently and to experience high levels of alcohol-related harm.ObjectivesTo test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a text message intervention in reducing the frequency of binge drinking among disadvantaged men.Study designA four-centre, parallel-group, pragmatic, individually randomised controlled trial was conducted. Randomisation was carried out using a secure remote web-based system. It was stratified by participating centre and recruitment method and restricted using block sizes of randomly varying lengths.SettingThe study was conducted in the community. Members of the public helped to develop the study methods.ParticipantsParticipants were men aged 25–44 years who had =¿2 episodes of binge drinking (>¿8 units of alcohol in a single session) in the preceding 28 days. Men were recruited from areas of high deprivation.InterventionsAn empirically and theoretically based text message intervention was delivered by 112 interactive text messages over a 12-week period. The control group received an attentional control comprising 89 text messages on general health.Primary outcome measureThe primary outcome measure was the proportion of men consuming >¿8 units of alcohol on =¿3 occasions (in the previous 28 days) at 12 months post intervention.ResultsThe recruitment target of 798 was exceeded and 825 men were randomised. Retention was high and similar in the intervention (84.9%) and control (86.5%) groups. Most men in the intervention group engaged enthusiastically with the text messages: almost all (92%) replied to text messages and over two-thirds (67%) replied more than 10 times. The intervention was estimated to have had a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome at the 12-month follow-up [odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.57 to 1.08]. This corresponds to a net reduction of 5.7% in regular binge drinking. Five secondary outcomes showed small non-significant and inconsistent effects on alcohol consumption, with one suggesting a positive effect and four suggesting an adverse effect. Both the short- and the long-term cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) analysis suggested that the brief intervention was dominated by a ‘do-nothing’ option. The intervention’s impacts on patterns of alcohol consumption, QALYs and downstream costs were inconsistent and uncertain.LimitationsThe study used an active control that, combined with the recruitment procedures and baseline assessments, could have biased the treatment effect towards the null. The measurement of alcohol consumption relied on self-reported drinking.ConclusionsThe trial has demonstrated that it is possible to recruit and retain large numbers of socially disadvantaged men in a research study. The text messages delivered a complex theoretically and empirically based intervention that fostered enthusiastic engagement with the key components of the behaviour change sequence. The intervention produced a modest, statistically non-significant effect on the primary outcome, with wide CIs. Further research is needed to reduce uncertainty about the treatment effect. The methods developed for this study provide a platform for the design and testing of interventions to reduce inequalities in health.Future workA future trial could reduce the uncertainty around the treatment effect of the intervention.Trial registrationCurrent Controlled Trials ISRCTN07695192.FundingThis study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research programme and will be published in full in Public Health Research; Vol. 6, No. 6. See NIHR Journals Library website for further information.

KW - text messages

KW - binge drinking

KW - socially disadvantaged me

U2 - 10.3310/phr06060

DO - 10.3310/phr06060

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - Public Health Research

JF - Public Health Research

SN - 2050-4381

IS - 6

ER -