Publications (3)0 Total impact
Alcohol misuse amongst University students is a serious concern, and research has started to investigate the feasibility of using e-health interventions. This study aimed to establish the effectiveness of an electronic web-based personalised feedback intervention through the use of a randomised control trial (RCT).
506 participants were stratified by gender, age group, year of study, self-reported weekly consumption of alcohol and randomly assigned to either a control or intervention condition. Intervention participants received electronic personalised feedback and social norms information on their drinking behaviour which they could access by logging onto the website at any time during the 12-week period. CAGE score, average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per drinking occasion, and alcohol consumption over the last week were collected from participants at pre- and post-survey.
A significant difference in pre- to post-survey mean difference of alcohol consumed per occasion was found, with those in the intervention condition displaying a larger mean decrease when compared to controls. No intervention effect was found for units of alcohol consumed per week or for CAGE scores. Sixty-three percent of intervention participants agreed that the feedback provided was useful. Those intervention participants who were above the CAGE cut off were more likely to report that the website would make them think more about the amount they drank.
Delivering an electronic personalised feedback intervention to students via the World Wide Web is a feasible and potentially effective method of reducing student alcohol intake. Further research is needed to replicate this outcome, evaluate maintenance of any changes, and investigate the process of interaction with web-based interventions.
To review the published literature on the effectiveness of web-based interventions designed to decrease consumption of alcohol and/or prevent alcohol abuse.
Relevant articles published up to, and including, May 2006 were identified through electronic searches of Medline, PsycInfo, Embase, Cochrane Library, ASSIA, Web of Science and Science Direct. Reference lists of all articles identified for inclusion were checked for articles of relevance. An article was included if its stated or implied purpose was to evaluate a web-based intervention designed to decrease consumption of alcohol and/or to prevent alcohol abuse. Studies were reliably selected and quality-assessed, and data were independently extracted and interpreted by two authors.
Initial searches identified 191 articles of which 10 were eligible for inclusion. Of these, five provided a process evaluation only, with the remaining five providing some pre-to post-intervention measure of effectiveness. In general the percentage quality criteria met was relatively low and only one of the 10 articles selected was a randomized control trial.
The current review provides inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of eIectronic screening and brief intervention (eSBI) for alcohol use. Process research suggests that web-based interventions are generally well received. However further controlled trials are needed to fully investigate their efficacy, to determine which elements are keys to outcome and to understand if different elements are required in order to engage low- and high-risk drinkers.
Unhealthy alcohol use amongst university students is a major public health concern. Although previous studies suggest a raised level of consumption amongst the UK student
population there is little consistent information available about the pattern of alcohol consumption as they progress through university. The aim of the current research was to describe drinking patterns of UK full-time undergraduate students as they progress through their degree course.
Data were collected over three years from 5895 undergraduate students who began their studies in either 2000 or 2001. Longitudinal data (i.e. Years 1–3) were available from 225 students. The remaining 5670 students all responded to at least one of the three surveys (Year 1
n = 2843; Year 2 n = 2219; Year 3 n = 1805).
Results: Students reported consuming significantly more units of alcohol per week at Year 1 than at Years 2 or 3 of their degree. Male students reported a higher consumption of units of alcohol than their female peers. When alcohol intake was classified using the Royal College of Physicians
guidelines  there was no difference between male and females students in terms of the percentage exceeding recommended limits. Compared to those who were low level consumers students who reported drinking above low levels at Year 1 had at least 10 times the odds of continuing to consume above low levels at year 3. Students who reported higher levels of drinking were more likely to report that alcohol had a negative impact on their studies, finances and physical health. Consistent with the reduction in units over time students reported lower levels of negative
impact during Year 3 when compared to Year 1.
The current findings suggest that student alcohol consumption declines over their undergraduate studies; however weekly levels of consumption at Year 3 remain high for a substantial number of students. The persistence of high levels of consumption in a large population
of students suggests the need for effective preventative and treatment interventions for all year