Dr Paul Toner

Dr Paul Toner leads research which aims to prevent and alleviate the suffering and economic burden caused by addiction and common mental health difficulties. Through rigorous development work, experimental and mediation testing utilising innovative methods his research attempts to improve ways of preventing, assessing and treating these issues at individual, family, community and population levels.

Paul has received two personal awards from the ESRC and the SSA for doctoral and post-doctoral research respectively, and with colleagues has generated a research income of approximately £1 million from funders including the NIHR, Wellcome Trust, DFID and Alcohol Change UK.

Academic Fellowship: The development of new alcohol screening and assessment measures for young people

Expert guidance and reviews have highlighted the pressing need for reliable and valid, age-appropriate alcohol questionnaires to screen for and assess a continuum of alcohol risk and harm in young people. My presentation will discuss ongoing research conducted to address this need. Stage 1 involved a rigorous systematic review to identify the best performing existing questionnaires for both screening and assessment and meta-analytic results provided benchmarks for how well new measures should perform. Stage 2 comprised qualitative analysis of 44 semi-structured interviews with young people from a range of settings including schools, further education colleges, pupil referral units, supported accommodation and youth services which generated and refined questions that are acceptable to young people.  For Stage 3, all 65 questions generated from Stages 1 and 2 were field tested with 381 young people. The goal is to take the questions forward that performed well diagnostically/psychometrically for confirmatory testing in the fourth and final stage of the study.

Click here for presentation slides.