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Open Access Project Note

Dealing with Alcohol-related problems in the Night-Time Economy: A Study Protocol for Mapping trends in harm and stakeholder views surrounding local community level interventions

Peter Miller1*, Darren Palmer2, Nicolas Droste1, Jenny Tindall3, Karen Gillham3, Anders Sonderlund1, Emma McFarlane1, Florentine de Groot1, Amy Sawyer3, Daniel Groombridge3, Christophe Lecathelinais34 and John Wiggers34

Author Affiliations

1 School of Psychology, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

2 School of History, Heritage and Society, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia

3 Hunter New England Population Health, Newcastle, Australia

4 School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:204  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-204

Published: 18 June 2011

Abstract

Background

This project will provide a comprehensive investigation into the prevalence of alcohol-related harms and community attitudes in the context of community-based interventions being implemented to reduce harm in two regional centres of Australia. While considerable experimentation and innovation to address these harms has occurred in both Geelong and Newcastle, only limited ad-hoc documentation and analysis has been conducted on changes in the prevalence of harm as a consequence, leaving a considerable gap in terms of a systematic, evidence-based analysis of changes in harm over time and the need for further intervention. Similarly, little evidence has been reported regarding the views of key stakeholder groups, industry, government agencies, patrons or community regarding the need for, and the acceptability of, interventions to reduce harms. This project will aim to provide evidence regarding the impact and acceptability of local initiatives aimed at reducing alcohol-related harms.

Methods/Design

This study will gather existing police data (assault, property damage and drink driving offences), Emergency Department presentations and Ambulance attendance data. Further, the research team will conduct interviews with licensed venue patrons and collect observational data of licensed venues. Key informant interviews will assess expert knowledge from key industry and government stakeholders, and a community survey will assess community experiences and attitudes towards alcohol-related harm and harm-reduction strategies. Overall, the project will assess: the extent of alcohol-related harm in the context of harm-reduction interventions, and the need for and acceptability of further intervention.

Discussion

These findings will be used to improve evidence-based practice both nationally and internationally.

Ethical Approval

This project has been approved by Deakin University HREC.