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Alcohol and Skin Diseases

Alcohol and Skin Diseases

Research Summary:

At present, apart from documenting the levels of alcohol intake, most dermatology clinics have not attempted to modify the drinking behaviour of patients in a meaningful way. Over the last 10 years short clinic based interventions have been developed which have been proven to effectively lower alcohol consumption. We feel that these tools could be put to significant benefit in the dermatology clinics. In order to deploy successful interventions, data on prevalence is needed.

Firstly we need to identify which groups of dermatology patients need to be targeted. We know that patients with psoriasis often drink heavily, however whether the alcohol is a trigger or a consequence of psychological distress is not known. There is very little information on whether patients with other inflammatory skin disease such as eczema or cutaneous lupus are also heavy drinkers. Rosacea is often thought to be linked to alcohol although good data is lacking. We also have no idea whether non inflammatory skin diseases such as skin cancer influence alcohol consumption. To enable us to target our intervention study successful we propose to do some preliminary questionnaire based work in the dermatology clinics to identify which groups of patients are drinking above recommended levels. We will also explore the acceptability of asking about alcohol use in both staff members and patients in the skin clinics.

We aim to use the 10 item one page AUDIT screening questionnaire to identify patients with AUDs, attending skin disease clinics in Newcastle. We also aim to ask patients whether, should it be offered, they would be willing to take part in brief clinic based interventions to lower alcohol consumption. This information will enable the team to gather the necessary information to gauge the prevalence of the issue and work towards putting together a grant to test the effectiveness of brief interventions in this setting.

Inclusion Criteria:

Patients will be recruited into one of two groups.

Group 1
A diagnosed inflammatory skin disease made by a dermatologist
Aged between 18 and 75 years inclusive
Male or Female
Able to provide written informed consent

Group 2
A diagnosed noninflammatory
skin disease made by a dermatologist.
Aged between 18 and 75 years inclusive
Male or Female
Ability to provide written informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

Patients under the age of 18 years
patients who are unable to give written informed consent

Study is closed to recruitment – currently in follow up.

Study Contact – Dr Philip Hampton, Chief Investigator


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