The Violence Research Group's randomised trials of brief advice about alcohol consumption have identified when and where this advice is effective. However, the language associated with brief advice, such as "motivational interviewing" and "psychological interventions" is not understood by practitioners and policy makers. Therefore, the Violence Research Group worked with practitioners and marketing experts to develop what became the Have a Word brand: "Brief Advice Works, Have a Word!"
This brand is used to market effective brief advice and to motivate practitioners to undertake the necessary training to deliver brief advice to patients, offenders, students and others in order to prompt behaviour change concerning alcohol. This approach has significant potential for affecting changes in other health behaviours, for example, in relation to exercise and diet.
The aims of the Have a Word project are to:
transfer knowledge of effective brief advice on alcohol derived from trials conducted by the Violence Research Group
embed alcohol misuse screening and brief advice into the NHS and the armed services through this motivational and social marketing approach.
This project is funded by Welsh Government, Innovation UK and Public Health England. Implementation across Wales is funded by Public Health Wales. Implementation in the UK armed services is funded by the Ministry of Defence.
Professor Jonathan Shepherd | Emeritus Professor, Crime and Security Research Institute
Professor Simon C Moore | Theme lead for Applied Clinical Research and Public Health, Professor of Public Health Research, Co-Director of Crime and Security Research Institute and Director of Alcohol & Violence Research Group
Professor Jonathan Shepherd, Cardiff University
Dr Sarah Jones, Cardiff University
Major Peter Field, Defence Dentistry, MOD
Craig Jones, Public Health Wales
Don Lavoie, Public Health England.
To date, the outputs of the project consist of:
published delivery and evaluation reports to funding bodies
formal launch of the Have a Word campaign with associated social media
a Wales-wide implementation campaign
Health Board collaboratives to ensure local ownership
Strategy to implement across the armed services
a suite of training packages accredited to degree level by national accreditation body - Agored Cymru and the Royal College of Nursing.
These packages, for download, include:
Have a Word Scratchcard (pdf,355kb) - this allows assessment of alcohol risk
Have a Word Wheel (pdf, 249kb) - this allows assessment of alcohol consumption
Have a Word Calendar (pdf, 119kb) - this allows assessment of long-term alcohol consumption
Have a Word Audit (pdf, 119kb) - this is an evaluation of training delivery
Have a Word 30min Slide set (pptx,3.3mb) - this is a short training aid
Have a Word 60min Slide set (pptx, 4.5mb) - this is a longer targeted training aid
Have a Word 90min Slide set (pptx, 5.9mb) - this is a further targeted training aid
Have a Word 120min Slide set (pptx, 10mb) - this is a detailed training aid
So far, the outcomes of the project include:
16,000 health and other professionals trained to deliver across Wales
a contract with Public Health England to deliver "train the trainers" courses across England
implementation in three health regions in England followed by national implementation strategy
adoption by the Ministry of Defence
implementation in UK army dental services capitalising on mandatory dental checks
use of Have a Word to support the new NHS England CQUIN “Preventing ill health from alcohol use".