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Addiction. 2018 Apr;113(4):635-646. doi: 10.1111/add.14085. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Efficacy of a web-based intervention with and without guidance for employees with risky drinking: results of a three-arm randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Department of Health Psychology and Applied Biological Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Lueneburg, Germany.
2
Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland.
3
Department of Clinical, Developmental and Neuro Psychology, Section of Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
4
EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
5
Department of Psychiatry, VU Medical Centre/GGZ inGeest, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
6
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany.

Abstract

AIMS:

To test the efficacy of a web-based alcohol intervention with and without guidance.

DESIGN:

Three parallel groups with primary end-point after 6 weeks.

SETTING:

Open recruitment in the German working population.

PARTICIPANTS:

Adults (178 males/256 females, mean age 47 years) consuming at least 21/14 weekly standard units of alcohol (SUA) and scoring ≥ 8/6 on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.

INTERVENTION:

Five web-based modules including personalized normative feedback, motivational interviewing, goal setting, problem-solving and emotion regulation during 5 weeks. One intervention group received an unguided self-help version (n=146) and the second received additional adherence-focused guidance by eCoaches (n=144). Controls were on a waiting list with full access to usual care (n=144).

MEASUREMENTS:

Primary outcome was weekly consumed SUA after 6 weeks. SUA after 6 months was examined as secondary outcome, next to numbers of participants drinking within the low-risk range, and general and work-specific mental health measures.

FINDINGS:

All groups showed reductions of mean weekly SUA after 6 weeks (unguided: -8.0; guided: -8.5; control: -3.2). There was no significant difference between the unguided and guided intervention (P=0.324). Participants in the combined intervention group reported significantly fewer SUA than controls [B=-4.85, 95% confidence interval (CI)=-7.02 to -2.68, P < 0.001]. The intervention groups also showed significant reductions in SUA consumption after 6 months (B=-5.72, 95% CI=-7.71 to -3.73, P < 0.001) and improvements regarding general and work-related mental health outcomes after 6 weeks and 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

A web-based alcohol intervention, administered with or without personal guidance, significantly reduced mean weekly alcohol consumption and improved mental health and work-related outcomes in the German working population.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; drinking; employee; internet; mental health; occupational health; training; treatment

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