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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Large-scale implementation of alcohol brief interventions in new settings in Scotland: a qualitative interview study of a national programme
Author(s): Fitzgerald, Niamh
Platt, Lucinda
Heywood, Susie
McCambridge, Jim
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Issue Date: Mar-2015
Date Deposited: 2-Apr-2015
Citation: Fitzgerald N, Platt L, Heywood S & McCambridge J (2015) Large-scale implementation of alcohol brief interventions in new settings in Scotland: a qualitative interview study of a national programme. BMC Public Health, 15, Art. No.: 289.
Abstract: Background This study aimed to explore experiences of implementation of alcohol brief interventions (ABIs) in settings outside of primary healthcare in the Scottish national programme. The focus of the study was on strategies and learning to support ABI implementation in settings outside of primary healthcare in general, rather on issues specific to any single setting. Methods 14 semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with senior implementation leaders in antenatal, accident and emergency and wider settings and audio-recorded. Interviews were analysed inductively. Results The process of achieving large-scale, routine implementation of ABI proved challenging for all involved across the settings. Interviewees reported their experiences and identified five main strategies as helpful for strategic implementation efforts in any setting: (1) Having a high-profile target for the number of ABIs delivered in a specific time period with clarity about whose responsibility it was to implement the target; (2) Gaining support from senior staff from the start; (3) Adapting the intervention, using a pragmatic, collaborative approach, to fit with current practice; (4) Establishing practical and robust recording, monitoring and reporting systems for intervention delivery, prior to widespread implementation; and (5) Establishing close working relationships with frontline staff including flexible approaches to training and readily available support. Conclusions This qualitative study suggests that even with significant national support, funding and a specific delivery target, ABI implementation in new settings is not straightforward. Those responsible for planning similar initiatives should critically consider the relevance and value of the five implementation strategies identified.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12889-015-1527-6
Rights: © 2015 Fitzgerald et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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