Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
McKay M, Agus A, Cole J, et al. Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP): a school-based and community-based cluster randomised controlled trial. BMJ Open 2018;8:e019722. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2017-019722
Original Language


United Kingdom
school-based prevention
alcohol misuse

Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP): A School-Based and Community-Based Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial


Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of a combined classroom curriculum and parental intervention (the Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP)), compared with alcohol education as normal (EAN), in reducing self-reported heavy episodic drinking (HED) and alcohol-related harms (ARHs) in adolescents.

Setting: 105 high schools in Northern Ireland (NI) and in Scotland.

Participants: Schools were stratified by free school meal provision. Schools in NI were also stratified by school type (male/female/coeducational). Eligible students were in school year 8/S1 (aged 11–12 years) at baseline (June 2012).

Intervention: A classroom-based alcohol education intervention, coupled with a brief alcohol intervention for parents/carers.

Primary outcomes: (1) The prevalence of self-reported HED in the previous 30 days and (2) the number of self-reported ARHs in the previous 6 months. Outcomes were assessed using two-level random intercepts models (logistic regression for HED and negative binomial for number of ARHs).

Results: At 33 months, data were available for 5160 intervention and 5073 control students (HED outcome), and 5234 and 5146 students (ARH outcome), respectively. Of those who completed a questionnaire at either baseline or 12 months (n=12 738), 10 405 also completed the questionnaire at 33 months (81.7%). Fewer students in the intervention group reported HED compared with EAN (17%vs26%; OR=0.60, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.73), with no significant difference in the number of self-reported ARHs (incident rate ratio=0.92, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.05). Although the classroom component was largely delivered as intended, there was low uptake of the parental component. There were no reported adverse effects.

Conclusions: Results suggest that STAMPP could be an effective programme to reduce HED prevalence. While there was no significant reduction in ARH, it is plausible that effects on harms would manifest later.

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