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Web-based alcohol risk communication tool pilot

Seeking practices/GPs to participate

The University of Auckland is conducting research to establish the acceptability and feasibility of using a web-based Alcohol Risk Communication Tool in General Practice settings. This research is funded by the Health Promotion Agency. The tool is designed to help GPs initiate discussions with their patients regarding their alcohol consumption and, where required, discuss with patients' potential ways to modify their drinking. The tool incorporates standard screening questions, calculates a risk score, and provides visual feedback. The intention is that the tool will be eventually embedded into the PMS but for the purpose of this project it is a standalone tool. GPs in practices from eight regions across New Zealand are being invited to take part. 

The research method

General practitioners

  • GPs will be invited to use the tool as part of their usual alcohol screening practices with as many patients as possible over a two-week period (minimum of 10 patients).
  • No personal any personal information on patients, only information captured in the tool, which is their age, gender, ethnicity, and drinking behaviors.
  • Before using the tool GPs will be asked to complete a brief online questionnaire about their current practice WRT to alcohol screening, on completion of using the tool for two weeks, and on at least 10 patients, they will be invited to complete a 'post tool use survey' which will ask about their experiences using the tool with patients.
  • As an acknowledgement of taking part in the study, on completion of the pilot, practices will be given $1000 per practice.

Involvement of consumers

Initially the researchers would like to focus on GPs in Taranaki and Tairāwhiti. Ideally, they would like GPs who work in a range of settings e.g. low socio-economic, high Māori and/or Pacific populations, rural practices. They would also like to engage GPs with a range of opinions on screening and brief interventions e.g. those who would be likely to support this and those who may be more sceptical. Once GPs have  confirmed interest, a research assistant will visit in  person to obtain informed consent and to give an overview of what is involved including demonstrating the tool.


It is hoped that this research will inform and provide evidence for the next stage of this research and approach - ensuring it is fit-for purpose. The next stage would be the integration of the tool into PMS to support systematic structured brief intervention, which is well evidenced and effective.

If you would like  further information please contact:

Associate Professor Bridget Kool

Associate Dean (Academic)

Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

Tel:    +64 9 373 7599 ext. 83871


To indicate your interest in participating please complete this form

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