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Alcohol and drug research

Our work is influential in developing clinical practice and informing alcohol policy. We are keen to work with others to maintain and grow research that changes lives and communities.

Based in the Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, we lead on the development of clinical and public health research into alcohol and drug use. We are keen to work with others to maintain and grow research that changes lives and communities.

The Challenge

Chronic diseases have reached epidemic proportions and are the leading cause of death globally.

More people are living longer with multiple conditions which, in addition to the significant socio-economic impacts, reduce quality of life and physical functioning while increasing mortality rates, hospital admissions, psychological distress and polypharmacy.

Our interdisciplinary research draws together work which explores the experience, and impact, of living with chronic, long-term, conditions.

SPARC prioritises the voices of people living with long term conditions and those of their families and carers. It does this through gathering and understanding people’s stories and narratives around illness, long-term conditions (LTCs) and, crucially, their intersection.

The Approach

SPARC is an interdisciplinary research group that brings together diverse expertise and research experience.

Our approach is to develop a holistic ‘whole person’ perspective by conceptualising and understanding how long-term conditions are experienced in everyday life.

We bring an ecological perspective that focuses on the whole person and their various support networks, recognising the importance of family carers as well as health practitioners, and exploring what enables people to live well and productively.

Our research responds directly to UK government priorities articulated in a range of policy frameworks including the NHS Long Term Plan (2019) and the Industrial Strategy Grand Challenge, ‘Meeting the Needs of an Ageing Society’ (2018).

We have strong links with the NHS and attract research funding from a range of sources including Horizon 2020, the NIHR, the ESRC and relevant charities such as Lupus UK.

Research collaborations

  • NIHR Clinical Research Network Yorkshire & The Humber

    Professor Thomas Phillips is part-funded by the NIHR CRN – Yorkshire & The Humber. As Mental Health Specialty Lead he supports the delivery of clinical and applied health research across the region.

  • Minimum Unit Pricing for Alcohol in Scotland

    The Alcohol Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) (Scotland) introduced a minimum unit price of alcohol below which alcohol must not be sold on licensed premises, and this was introduced on 1 May 2018. This evaluation funded by the National Institute for Health Research is led by Professor Alastair Leyland at the University of Glasgow.

    Professor Thomas Phillips, Professor of Nursing (Addictions), Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research is collaborating on the evaluation of alcohol-related emergency department attendances.

  • ADAM - Alcohol Dependence and Adherence to Medications

    The ADAM study is a randomised controlled trial to determine the efficacy of medication management with and without contingency management to increase adherence to acamprosate compared to treatment as usual. This research funded by the National Institute for Health Research is led by Professor Colin Drummond at King’s College London.

    As co-investigator Professor Thomas Phillips, Professor of Nursing (Addictions), Institute for Clinical and Applied Health Research also co-ordinates study recruitment from clinical services representing eight local authorities across Yorkshire and The Humber

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