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Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Jul 8;(3):CD006748. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006748.pub2.

Social norms interventions to reduce alcohol misuse in university or college students.

Author information

  • 1School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University, Jack Straws Lane Marston, Oxford, UK, Oxford OX3 0FL.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Drinking is influenced by youth (mis)perceptions of how their peers drink. If misperceptions can be corrected, young people may drink less.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether social norms feedback reduces alcohol misuse in university or college students.

SEARCH STRATEGY:

Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group Register of Trials; Central; MEDLINE; EMBASE; PsyInfo; CINAHL (up to March 2008).

SELECTION CRITERIA:

RCT or cluster RCT that evaluate social normative intervention with no intervention, alcohol education leaflet or other non-normative feedback intervention

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS:

2/3 authors extracted data. Included studies were assessed against criteria indicated in the Cochrane Reviewers Handbook version 5.0.0.

MAIN RESULTS:

Twenty-two studies were included (7,275 participants).Alcohol related problems: Significant reduction with Web/computer feedback (WF) (SMD -0.31 95% Cl -0.59 to -0.02), three studies, 278 participants. No significant effect of mailed feedback (MF), individual face-to-face feedback (IFF) or group face-to-face feedback (GFF).Peak Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) : Significant reduction with WF (SMD -0.77 95% Cl -1.25 to -0.28), two studies, 198 participants. No significant effect of MF or IFF.Drinking Frequency: Significant reduction with WF (SMD -0.38 95% Cl -0.63 to -0.13), two studies, 243 participants and IFF (SMD -0.39 95% Cl -0.66 to -0.12), two studies, 217 participants. No significant effect of MF.Drinking Quantity: Significant reduction with WF (SMD -0.35 95% Cl -0.51 to -0.18), five studies, 556 participants and GFF (SMD -0.32 95% Cl -0.63 to -0.02) three studies, 173 participants. No significant effect of MF or IF.Binge drinking: Significant reduction with WF (SMD -0.47 95% Cl -0.92 to -0.03) one study, 80 participants, IFF (SMD -0.25 95% Cl -0.49 to -0.02) three studies, 278 participants and and GFF (SMD -0.38 95% Cl -0.62 to -0.14) four studies, 264 participants. No significant effect for MF.BAC: No significant effect of MF and IFFDrinking norms: Significant reduction with WF (SMD -0.75 95% Cl -0.98 to -0.52 ) three studies, 312 participants.

AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS:

WF and IFF are probably effective in reducing alcohol misuse. No direct comparisons of WF against IFF were found, but WF impacted across a broader set of outcomes and is less costly so therefore might be preferred. Significant effects were more apparent for short-term outcomes (up to three months). For mailed and group feedback, and social norms marketing campaigns, the results are on the whole not significant and therefore cannot be recommended.

PMID:
19588402
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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