Evidence suggests that increased preoperative alcohol consumption increases the risk of postoperative complications; therefore, a reduction or cessation in alcohol intake before surgery may reduce perioperative risk. Preoperative assessment presents an opportunity to intervene to optimise patients for surgery. This multicentre, two-arm, parallel group, individually randomised controlled trial will investigate whether a definitive trial of a brief behavioural intervention aimed at reducing preoperative alcohol consumption is feasible and acceptable to healthcare professionals responsible for its delivery and the preoperative elective orthopaedic patient population.
Screening will be conducted by trained healthcare professionals at three hospitals in the North East of England. Eligible patients (those aged 18 or over, listed for elective hip or knee arthroplasty surgery and scoring 5 or more or reporting consumption of six or more units on a single occasion at least weekly on the alcohol screening tool) who enrol in the trial will be randomised on a one-to-one non-blinded basis to either treatment as usual or brief behavioural intervention delivered in the pre-assessment clinic. Patients will be followed up 1–2 days pre-surgery, 1–5 days post-surgery (as an in-patient), 6 weeks post-surgery, and 6 months post intervention. Feasibility will be assessed through rates of screening, eligibility, recruitment, and retention to 6-month follow-up. An embedded qualitative study will explore the acceptability of study methods to patients and staff.
This pilot randomised controlled trial will establish the feasibility and acceptability of trial procedures reducing uncertainties ahead of a definitive randomised controlled trial to establish the effectiveness of brief behavioural intervention to reduce alcohol consumption in the preoperative period and the potential impact on perioperative complications.