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Service Users' Views and Experiences of Alcohol Relapse Prevention Treatment and Adherence: New Role for Pharmacists?

Dhital, Ranjita; Coleman, Rachel; Day, Ed; Drummond, Colin; Lingford-Hughes, Anne; Marsden, John; Phillips, Tom; Sinclair, Julia; Strang, John; Weinman, John; Whittlesea, Cate; Widyaratna, Kideshini; Donoghue, Kim


Ranjita Dhital

Rachel Coleman

Ed Day

Colin Drummond

Anne Lingford-Hughes

John Marsden

Julia Sinclair

John Strang

John Weinman

Cate Whittlesea

Kideshini Widyaratna

Kim Donoghue


Aims: To understand service users' views and experiences of alcohol relapse prevention medication, views of a telephone behavioural modification intervention delivered by pharmacists and the use of Contingency Management (CM) to support acamprosate adherence following assisted alcohol withdrawal. Methods: Four focus groups were conducted within four alcohol treatment and recovery groups across England (UK), with service users with lived experience of alcohol dependence (26 participants). Semi-structured topic guide was used to explore participants' views and experiences of alcohol relapse prevention medication, a telephone behavioural modification medication intervention delivered by pharmacists, and the use of CM to support acamprosate adherence. These were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed inductively and deductively. Results: Four themes were identified: concerns about support and availability of alcohol relapse prevention medication; lack of knowledge and understanding about acamprosate treatment; positive perceptions of acamprosate adherence telephone support from pharmacists; and negative perceptions of CM to support acamprosate adherence. There were misunderstandings about acamprosate's mode of action and strong negative beliefs about CM. However, most were positive about pharmacists' new role to support acamprosate adherence. Conclusion: This study highlighted challenges service users face to commence alcohol relapse prevention medication. It appears service users could benefit from a pharmacist-led telephone intervention to improve understanding about acamprosate medication, particularly, if delivered in an engaging and motivating way.


Dhital, R., Coleman, R., Day, E., Drummond, C., Lingford-Hughes, A., Marsden, J., …Donoghue, K. (2022). Service Users' Views and Experiences of Alcohol Relapse Prevention Treatment and Adherence: New Role for Pharmacists?. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 57(5), 602-608.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 15, 2022
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Mar 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Mar 16, 2022
Journal Alcohol and Alcoholism
Print ISSN 0735-0414
Electronic ISSN 1464-3502
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 57
Issue 5
Article Number agac011
Pages 602-608
Keywords General Medicine
Public URL


Published paper (332 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© The Author(s) 2022. <br /> This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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