The Public Health Burden of Alcohol and the Effectiveness and Cost-Effectiveness of Alcohol Control Policies
This review was commissioned by the Department of Health, which asked Public Health England (PHE) to provide an overview of alcohol-related harm in England and possible policy solutions. The present report offers a broad and rigorous summary of the types and prevalence of alcohol-related harm, and evidence for the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies. Effectiveness is defined as the degree to which an intervention reduces the public health burden (health, social, and economic) of alcohol. The findings are interpreted within the English context and will be relevant to academics and researchers, public health professionals and policy-makers in the health and non-health sectors.
A detailed overview of the methodology used to derive the evidence in this report can be seen in Annexe 1. Briefly, electronic databases combined with hand-searching of reference lists and input from an independent expert group (Annexe 2) was used to identify reviews and primary studies pertaining to alcohol-related harm and the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of alcohol control policies. Data were extracted using a uniform template, and quality of evidence was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) criteria (5,6). This evidence was translated into a narrative review of each policy approach. A full glossary of the terms used in this report can be seen in Annexe 3.