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General objectives

WP4 mobilises MS to carry out alcohol surveys using a common methodology and to pool data for comparative assessment in order to produce a baseline for comparative monitoring of drinking levels and patterns and alcohol related harms across the EU. The ultimate objective is to provide methodological and policy pointers and increase interest in carrying out common surveys in the future.

WP5 combines scientific knowledge on risks and experiences of the use of drinking guidelines to clarify their scientific basis and practical implications and to work towards consensus on good practice principles for the use of drinking guidelines as a public health measure. The ultimate objective is to contribute towards more aligned messages to the population and health professionals.

WP6 produces a Tool Kit of likey transferable interventions on which some evidence of effectiveness and cost estimates are available. The ultimate objective is to facilitate exchange between MS public health bodies and provide guidance for the use of evidence based approaches to reduce alcohol related harm.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

The JA responds to the programme`s call by mobilizing MS to cooperate towards uptake, exchange and development of common approaches relating to the underpinning priorities of the EU alcohol strategy: WP4 strengthens the knowledge base by improving access to comparable data on drinking levels and patterns and related harms; WP5 and WP6 foster the use of common and cost-effective approaches to inform and raise awareness on drinking patterns and alcohol related harms.

The JA produces tools to support action and public health policy planning to address alcohol as a key determinant of health and contributor to health inequalities.

The JA was planned with input from Member States Committee on National Alcohol Policy and Action set up by the Commission to support the implementation of the EU alcohol strategy. The JA maintains contacts with the Committee for feedback and guidance to ensure that the JA responds to MS needs and interests. Joint work on alcohol bringing together MS health ministries and their expert agencies has not been done before with a European perspective.

Methods and means

WP4: Carrying out a common survey, refining the cross-culturally applicable methodology of project SMART. Recoding already existing data for comparative assessment. Presenting results at national and EU level and discussing merits/drawbacks of the two approaches.

WP5: Working papers to summarize: scientific knowledge on risks; use of drinking guidelines to reduce harm from alcohol; drinking by young people. Updating for selected MS estimates of risk of death with different alcohol consumption levels. On-line surveys of consumer views on alcohol risk communication. Policy Delphi survey and expert/policymaker meeting to seek input from wider experts.

WP6: Collecting MS good practice interventions into a Tool Kit to highlight their effectiveness, replicability, costs and critical success factors. Producing guidance for policy planners on the use of alcohol information to foster public health.

Disseminating results through: synthesis reports, policy briefs; expert/policymaker meetings, seminars, conferences; web communication, newsletter.

Expected outcomes period

The JA contributes to capacity building among partners and in the wider public health community. WP4 strengthens capacity in alcohol survey methodology and provides a common instrument for monitoring progress in reducing alcohol related harm. Although the time is too short for repeated surveys, joint work increases interest in the continuation of EU alcohol surveys. WP5 clarifies the scientific basis and practical implications of drinking guidelines as a public health measure. Guidelines given in MS vary in terms of drinking defined as low/high risk and of the quantification of alcohol intake. WP5 increases consensus on key messages about harmful drinking to the population and health professionals. WP6 enhances access to well described, likley transferable interventions on which some evidence of effectiveness in influencing attitudes or behavior and cost estimates are available. The tools developed in the JA help plan public health policies that in the longer term contribute to reducing alcohol related harm, the risk of chronic diseases and the burden for health systems.

Start date: 01/01/2014
End date: 01/01/2017
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 1 533 383,00
Portfolio: Alcohol