Authors: M. Petticrew, N. Douglas, P. D’Souza, Y.M. Shi, M.A. Durand, C. Knai, E. Eastmure, N. Mays
Title: Community Alcohol Partnerships with the alcohol industry: what is their purpose and are they effective in reducing alcohol harms?
Journal: Journal of Public Health, pp. 1–16, doi:10.1093/pubmed/fdw139
Background: Local initiatives to reduce alcohol harms are common. One UK approach, Community Alcohol Partnerships (CAPs), involves partnerships between the alcohol industry and local government, focussing on alcohol misuse and anti-social behaviour (ASB) among young people. This study aimed to assess the evidence of effectiveness of CAPs.
Methods: We searched CAP websites and documents, and databases, and contacted CAPs to identify evaluations and summarize their ﬁndings. We appraised these against four methodological criteria: (i) reporting of pre–post data; (ii) use of comparison area(s); (iii) length of follow-up; and (iv) baseline comparability of comparison and intervention areas.
Results: Out of 88 CAPs, we found three CAP evaluations which used controlled designs or comparison areas, and further data on 10 other CAPs. The most robust evaluations found little change in ASB, though few data were presented. While CAPs appear to affect public perceptions of ASB, this is not a measure of the effectiveness of CAPs.
Conclusion: Despite industry claims, the few existing evaluations do not provide convincing evidence that CAPs are effective in reducing alcohol harms or ASB. Their main role may be as an alcohol industry corporate social responsibility measure which is intended to limit the reputational damage associated with alcohol-related ASB.