BMJ Open 2:e000645 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000645
  • Public health
    • Protocol

Interventions in sports settings to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm: a systematic review protocol

  1. Luke Wolfenden1,3
  1. 1School of Medicine and Public Health, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2Hunter New England Population Health, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3NSW Cancer Institute, Eveleigh, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Melanie Kingsland; melanie.kingsland{at}
  • Received 18 November 2011
  • Accepted 17 February 2012
  • Published 6 April 2012


Introduction Alcohol consumption is a primary cause of physical, psychological and social harm to both the user and others. At both the professional and non-professional level, sports players and fans report consuming alcohol at greater levels than people not involved in sports. Limited systematic reviews have been conducted assessing interventions targeting alcohol consumption behaviour and related harms in the sporting context.

Methods and analysis The review aims to determine if interventions implemented in the sport setting decrease alcohol consumption and related harms. Participants may include all persons regardless of age or other characteristics. Studies will be included which have implemented interventions within the sport setting and have either measured: alcohol consumption, excessive alcohol consumption or intoxication or alcohol-related injury or violence. Randomised controlled trials, staggered enrolment trials, stepped-wedged trials, quasi-randomised trials, quasi-experimental trials and natural experiments will be included. Studies without a parallel comparison group will be excluded. Data will be sourced from a range of electronic databases and sources of grey literature. Two authors will independently screen all titles and abstracts of papers identified through the search strategy. Two authors will independently examine the full text of all remaining papers to determine eligibility. Two authors will independently extract data from eligible studies and independently assess risk of bias by assessing the adequacy of study characteristics. Where studies are sufficiently homogeneous, trial results will be synthesised using a fixed-effects meta-analysis. Standardised mean differences will be used for continuous outcomes and RRs will be used for binary outcomes.

Dissemination The findings of this study will be disseminated widely through mechanisms including peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.


  • To cite: Kingsland M, Wiggers J, Wolfenden L. Interventions in sports settings to reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harm: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open 2012;2:e000645. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000645

  • Contributors MK will lead the review. All authors have contributed to the conception of the research and will be involved in the preparation of the review, including providing comment on drafts.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The authors are currently undertaking a randomised controlled trial of an intervention to decrease excessive alcohol consumption at community sports clubs which may be included in this review. The authors have not received any benefit, in cash or in kind, any hospitality or any subsidy from the alcohol industry or any other source perceived to have an interest in the outcome of this review.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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