Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Evidence Briefings Prepared by the Health Development Agency (HDA)

This first Evidence Briefing from the HDA on alcohol launches a series that will become the definitive resource for health professionals on what works in health improvement. Over the coming months, the HDA will publish briefings on the effectiveness of interventions
for a range of issues including:
  • the prevention of low birth weight
  • unwanted teenage pregnancy
  • HIV/AIDS transmission
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • smoking
  • accidental injuries
  • depression in older people
The HDA is building the evidence base for health improvement - this series
plays an important role in getting that information out to health
professionals in a clear and concise format and will be available via the

Health Development Agency Evidence Base website at
Key findings on interventions that are proven to work in preventing and
reducing alcohol misuse in this report are listed in the summary. They
  • Minimum legal drinking age laws
  • Random breath testing
  • Face-to-face bartender training
  • Opportunistic advice to heavy drinkers on just one occasion in
    hospital and primary care settings
The workplace is a key environment in which to tackle attitudes and
drinking behaviours, and the briefing encourages the development and
evaluation of workplace policies.
As well as highlighting what works, the publication includes evidence on
unsuccessful interventions, identifies gaps in the evidence, discusses
policy implications and recommends future research.