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Trials. 2012 Jun 15;13:83. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-13-83.

The effectiveness of a web-based brief alcohol intervention in reducing heavy drinking among adolescents aged 15 to 20 years with a low educational background: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Montessorilaan 3, 6525 HR, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.



The serious negative health consequences of heavy drinking among adolescents is cause for concern, especially among adolescents aged 15 to 20 years with a low educational background. In the Netherlands, there is a lack of alcohol prevention programs directed to the drinking patterns of this specific target group. The study described in this protocol will test the effectiveness of a web-based brief alcohol intervention that aims to reduce alcohol use among heavy drinking adolescents aged 15 to 20 years with a low educational background.


The effectiveness of the What Do You Drink (WDYD) web-based brief alcohol intervention will be tested among 750 low-educated, heavy drinking adolescents. It will use a two-arm parallel group cluster randomized controlled trial. Classes of adolescents from educational institutions will be randomly assigned to either the experimental (nā€‰=ā€‰375: web-based brief alcohol intervention) or control condition (nā€‰=ā€‰375: no intervention). Primary outcomes measures will be: 1) the percentage of participants who drink within the normative limits of the Dutch National Health Council for low-risk drinking, 2) reductions in mean weekly alcohol consumption, and 3) frequency of binge drinking. The secondary outcome measures include the alcohol-related cognitions, attitudes, self-efficacy, and subjective norms, which will be measured at baseline and at one and six months after the intervention.


This study protocol presents the study design of a two-arm parallel-group randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the WDYD web-based brief alcohol intervention. We hypothesized a reduction in mean weekly alcohol consumption and in the frequency of binge drinking in the experimental condition, resulting from the web-based brief alcohol intervention, compared to the control condition.


Netherlands Trial Register NTR2971.

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