A co-produced cultural approach to workplace alcohol interventions: barriers and facilitators

Background: There is increasing recognition that the workplace holds potential as an alcohol prevention/intervention setting. However, few robust studies of workplace interventions have been conducted. Research to-date has yielded mixed results. The current study aimed to address this knowledge gap by undertaking a process evaluation of the Workplace Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (WRAHP), a co-produced workplace alcohol intervention.

Methods: A process evaluation was embedded within the WRAHP intervention trial. It included site visits (n = 41), site observations (N = 8) and on-site semi-structured key informant interviews (N = 50), conducted over the 3-year evaluation period.

Results: A ‘whole-of-workplace’ plus a ‘co-production’ approach during intervention development and implementation contributed to uptake and sustainability. Seven potential barriers or facilitators emerged: (i) attitudes toward alcohol in the workplace, (ii) policy development and awareness, (iii) referral pathways and access to support, (iv) participation and equity: production pressure, (v) participation and equity: language barriers, (vi) communication and (vii) sustainability of the intervention.

Conclusions: Embedding a tailored alcohol intervention within a ‘worker-wellbeing’ framework promoted acceptance. This approach enabled barriers to be addressed whilst identifying facilitators of success. These results add to a growing evidence base regarding the value of interventions that target alcohol and support replication of similar co-produced interventions in other workplace settings.