Development of a Web-based alcohol intervention for university students: Processes and challenges
ABSTRACT Despite growing evidence of the efficacy of electronic screening and brief interventions for reducing unhealthy alcohol use, there is no published work describing the development of such interventions. We describe the process of developing and implementing an electronic screening and brief intervention in a large university population.
Thematic analysis of seven focus groups, involving a total of 69 students, informed the content and design of THRIVE (Tertiary Health Research Intervention Via Email). Pilot testing was conducted through usability analysis with a further 16 students. A random sample of 13,000 undergraduates was invited to complete screening and hazardous drinkers were randomised to receive Web-based assessment and feedback or screening alone. Participants' use of THRIVE was examined through server log analysis and responses to questions on instrument design/usability during follow-up assessment 6 months later.
A total of 7237 students (56% of those invited) completed screening; 2435 (34%) screened positive for unhealthy drinking; 1251 were randomly assigned to receive the intervention; and 1184 served as controls. In total, 99% of participants found THRIVE easy to complete, 76% said it provided personally relevant information and 55% said they would recommend it to a friend with a drinking problem. Thirty per cent sought additional information on support services through the site.
Key design elements include ease of access (e.g. via an emailed hyperlink), length (<10 min), clear, non-judgmental language, personalised normative feedback and links to appropriate services. The study demonstrates the potential reach of a carefully implemented intervention in a high-risk, non-treatment-seeking population group.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Alexandra McManus, Jan 23, 2015
- SourceAvailable from: Peter HowatPreventive Medicine 11/2010; 51(5):425-6. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2010.08.015 · 2.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A strong body of evidence guides clinical responses to alcohol and tobacco dependence and there is an emerging evidence base informing responses to cannabis dependence. Nevertheless, there are still important gaps in the evidence base. Three researchers, with backgrounds in alcohol, tobacco and cannabis research examine current clinical research and practice to identify potential future priorities for clinical research. Clinical outcomes will be improved by research that enhances engagement and retention of a broader range of consumers, especially underrepresented and disadvantaged populations who may not respond as well to mainstream interventions. Research might focus on innovative client recruitment approaches, varying treatment intensity, use of new technology and assertive outreach. Assessment of treatment outcome will be enhanced by strategies that facilitate longer-term follow up of participants, adoption of shared measures of non-abstinent outcomes and extending the focus and outcome measures beyond drug use. Translation of research into clinical strategies will be enhanced by improving links between theory and interventions, increased attention on factors that influence treatment fidelity, designing treatment studies that are relevant to a variety of clinical settings, focussing on clinician characteristics as treatment variables and developing methodologies that address the capacity of participants to discriminate between placebo and pharmacotherapy. A range of future research priorities have been identified that have the potential to better engage and retain clients in a range of treatment settings and enhance translation of research findings into improved treatment outcomes.Drug and Alcohol Review 09/2010; 29(5):483-90. DOI:10.1111/j.1465-3362.2010.00171.x · 1.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A substantial proportion of adolescents and young adults gamble and rates of problem gambling amongst youth are significantly higher than found in adult populations. Despite this, few youth seek treatment suggesting that traditional services are failing to help this vulnerable population. Youth are progressively active online and use the Internet for social networking, recreation, and increasingly, to seek help for health and mental health issues where they would not be comfortable seeking traditional forms of professional help. In recognition of this, Internet-based therapy and guided interventions have been launched specifically for adolescents and young adults in an attempt to reduce high-risk behaviors and increase program utilization. Research has demonstrated that online therapeutic support is perceived to be acceptable and useful by youth. Furthermore, online interventions have demonstrated success in reducing smoking and heavy drinking amongst this typically hard to reach population. Given the success of similar programs, online problem gambling services are predicted to be effective in increasing youth awareness of their potentially problematic gambling behavior and assist adolescents and young adults in retaining control and minimizing and reducing gambling-related problems.International journal of adolescent medicine and health 01/2010; 22(1):113-28.