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Br J Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;203(5):334-40. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.113.128660. Epub 2013 Sep 26.

Alcohol assessment and feedback by email for university students: main findings from a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Jim McCambridge, PhD, Faculty of Public Health & Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Marcus Bendtsen, MSc, Department of Medicine and Health, and Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Nadine Karlsson, PhD, Department of Medicine and Health, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Ian R. White, PhD, MRC, Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, UK; Per Nilsen, PhD, Preben Bendtsen, PhD, Department of Medicine and Health, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Brief interventions can be efficacious in changing alcohol consumption and increasingly take advantage of the internet to reach high-risk populations such as students.

AIMS:

To evaluate the effectiveness of a brief online intervention, controlling for the possible effects of the research process.

METHOD:

A three-arm parallel groups design was used to explore the magnitude of the feedback and assessment component effects. The three groups were: alcohol assessment and feedback (group 1); alcohol assessment only without feedback (group 2); and no contact, and thus neither assessment nor feedback (group 3). Outcomes were evaluated after 3 months via an invitation to participate in a brief cross-sectional lifestyle survey. The study was undertaken in two universities randomising the email addresses of all 14 910 students (the AMADEUS-1 study, trial registration: ISRCTN28328154).

RESULTS:

Overall, 52% (n = 7809) of students completed follow-up, with small differences in attrition between the three groups. For each of the two primary outcomes, there was one statistically significant difference between groups, with group 1 having 3.7% fewer risky drinkers at follow-up than group 3 (P = 0.006) and group 2 scoring 0.16 points lower than group 3 on the three alcohol consumption questions from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) (P = 0.039).

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides some evidence of population-level benefit attained through intervening with individual students.

PMID:
24072758
PMCID:
PMC3814613
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.113.128660
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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