Supporting Women Veterans with Alcohol Use

Supporting Women Veterans with Alcohol Use

Study exploring digital platforms to support women veterans with alcohol use at King’s Centre for Military Health Research – recruiting now

For over a century, women in the UK Armed Forces have been integral to our national defence. Despite their longstanding service, research focused on women veterans and their health and wellbeing remains scarce. This highlights a critical gap in our understanding of their unique experiences and needs both in and out of service.

The majority of research exploring the impact of alcohol consumption in veterans is focused on men. However, we know from the existing, albeit limited evidence, that alcohol use in ex-serving women is substantially higher than that of their civilian counterparts.

We know that problematic alcohol use often co-occurs with common mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, and PTSD and alcohol is often used to self-medicate and cope with negative internal states. Research has shown that common mental health disorders are more prevalent in ex-serving women than in the general population and crucially that ex-serving women face barriers to accessing mental health support, including due to ongoing alcohol use.

Digital health innovations

Digital health technologies, like smartphone apps, offer promising avenues for delivering brief interventions, bypassing geographic barriers, long treatment waiting lists, and stigma linked to in-person assistance. They hold potential for advancing gender equity by empowering individuals with control over their health data, expanding healthcare access, and addressing specific challenges more prevalent for women, such as childcare. However, the development of these digital health interventions often lacks a gender equity perspective, a crucial aspect that needs addressing.

Supporting women who have served and consume alcohol

King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) is a leading UK civilian institution for Military Health Research and focuses on research relating to serving personnel, ex-serving personnel, military families, and interventions.

To address gaps in the evidence base relating to ex-serving women, researchers from KCMHR are conducting a study testing multiple digital platforms to support ex-serving women manage their alcohol use.

Each platform has been developed incorporating expert feedback and guidance from focus groups with ex-serving women as well as military and substance use charities to be tailored to the unique needs of women who have served.

Want to take part?

If you are interested in taking part in this study, click here to complete the eligibility survey.

We are seeking to recruit individuals who are veterans of the UK Armed Forces, identify as female, live in the United Kingdom, use a smartphone, drink alcohol, and are willing to take part for 12 weeks in this online study. You can read the participant information sheet here.

At the end of the study, participants who complete the baseline and final questionnaire will receive a £20 Love2Shop voucher as a thank you for taking part.

By taking part in this research, your contribution will support the ex-serving community by helping us to test a digital health intervention which can benefit others in the future.

If you would like to know more about the study or have any questions, please get in touch at