Education of key personnel in student pubs leads to a decrease in alcohol consumption among the patrons: a randomized controlled trial
AIMS: To decrease alcohol consumption among patrons in student pubs by server-training programmes. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial. SETTING: University campus. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1322 students visiting local student pubs during ordinary pub evenings. INTERVENTION: Educational programmes were given to bartenders (n = 40) in a randomized design in six of 12 pubs on a university campus. Bartenders in control pubs were not given the programme. MEASUREMENTS: Breath alcohol concentration (BAC), expressed in percentage, among the patrons and the reported social atmosphere in the pub ('high', 'cosy' and 'rowdy') measured on a visual analogue scale in the pub before and after the intervention programme was given. FINDINGS: BACs of patrons in the intervention pubs were reduced by more than those of the patrons in the control pubs at a 1-month follow-up. The mean difference in BAC between intervention and control groups was -0.011% (95% confidence interval, 0.022-0.000). The intervention group also decreased more in reported level of 'rowdy' social atmosphere than did the control group. The mean difference was -6 points (95% confidence interval -11 to -1). No differences were found in reported 'cosy' and 'high' atmosphere. CONCLUSION: Alcohol levels among the patrons were decreased and the 'rowdy' social atmosphere reduced in the intervention group. Server-training programmes for personnel in student pubs could be a component in the prevention of alcohol problems in university student populations.