Skip to main content

01.12.2015 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Evaluating the (cost-)effectiveness of guided and unguided Internet-based self-help for problematic alcohol use in employees - a three arm randomized controlled trial

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Leif Boß, Dirk Lehr, Matthias Berking, Heleen Riper, Michael Patrick Schaub, David Daniel Ebert
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Authors’ contribution

DE, DL, and MB obtained funding for this study. LB, DL, DE, and HR contributed to the development of the GET.ON CWT training. DE was responsible for the initial study design draft, DL, HR and LB contributed to the final study design. LB drafted the manuscript. DE and DL supervised the writing process. All authors contributed to the further writing of the manuscript, all authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Problematic alcohol consumption is associated with a high disease burden for affected individuals and has a detrimental impact on companies and society due to direct and indirect health costs. This protocol describes a study design to evaluate the (cost)-effectiveness of a guided and unguided Internet-based self-help intervention for employees called “GET.ON Clever weniger trinken” (be smart – drink less) compared to a waiting list control group.


In a three-arm randomized controlled trial, 528 German adults who are currently members of the workforce will be recruited by occupational health departments of major health insurance companies. Employees aged 18 and older displaying problematic drinking patterns (>21/14 drinks per week and an AUDIT score > 8/6 for men/women) will be randomly assigned to one of three following study conditions: 1. unguided web-based self-help for problematic drinking, 2. adherence-focused guided self-help, and 3. waiting list control. Self-report data will be collected at baseline (T1), 6 weeks (T2), and 6 months (T3) after randomization. The primary outcome will be the reduction of alcohol standard units during the 7 days prior to T2, using the Timeline Followback method. Cost-effectiveness analyses to determine direct and indirect costs will be conducted from the perspectives of employers and the society. Data will be analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis and per protocol.


There is a need to identify effective low-threshold solutions to improve ill-health and reduce the negative economic consequences due to problematic alcohol drinking in workforces. If the proposed web-based intervention proves both to be efficacious and cost-effective, it may be a useful tool to increase utilization rates of interventions for problematic drinking in occupational settings.

Trial Registration

German Register of Clinical Studies (DRKS): DRKS00006105, date of registration: 2014-07-07.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2015

BMC Public Health 1/2015 Zur Ausgabe