Supporting Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services to deliver alcohol care: Protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial Academic Article uri icon


  • IntroductionIndigenous peoples who have experienced colonisation or oppression can have a higher prevalence of alcohol-related harms. In Australia, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) offer culturally accessible care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) peoples. However there are many competing health, socioeconomic and cultural client needs.Methods and analysisA randomised cluster wait-control trial will test the effectiveness of a model of tailored and collaborative support for ACCHSs in increasing use of alcohol screening (with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C)) and of treatment provision (brief intervention, counselling or relapse prevention medicines).SettingTwenty-two ACCHSs across Australia.RandomisationServices will be stratified by remoteness, then randomised into two groups. Half receive support soon after the trial starts (intervention or ‘early support’); half receive support 2 years later (wait-control or ‘late support’).The supportCore support elements will be tailored to local needs and include: support to nominate two staff as champions for increasing alcohol care; a national training workshop and bimonthly teleconferences for service champions to share knowledge; onsite training, and bimonthly feedback on routinely collected data on screening and treatment provision.Outcomes and analysisPrimary outcome is use of screening using AUDIT-C as routinely recorded on practice software. Secondary outcomes are recording of brief intervention, counselling, relapse prevention medicines; and blood pressure, gamma glutamyltransferase and HbA1c. Multi-level logistic regression will be used to test the effectiveness of support.Ethics and disseminationEthical approval has been obtained from eight ethics committees: the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales (1217/16); Central Australian Human Research Ethics Committee (CA-17-2842); Northern Territory Department of Health and Menzies School of Health Research (2017-2737); Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service (17/QCQ/9); Far North Queensland (17/QCH/45-1143); Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee, South Australia (04-16-694); St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Human Research Ethics Committee (LRR 036/17); and Western Australian Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (779).Trial registration numberACTRN12618001892202; Pre-results.


  • Harrison, KH
  • Lee, Kylie
  • Dobbins, T
  • Wilson, S
  • Hayman, N
  • Ivers, R
  • Haber, PS
  • Conigrave, JH
  • Johnson, D
  • Hummerston, B
  • Gray, D
  • Conigrave, K

publication date

  • 2019