[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives. This study aimed to explore how guidance contributes to the outcome of self-help for disordered eating. Method. A sample of guides and clients with a range of disordered eating was interviewed on completion of a randomized control trial and analysed using thematic framework analysis. Results. Four themes emerged; the necessity of having a guide as a facilitator, features of the therapeutic relationship in clients with positive outcomes, features of the therapeutic relationship in clients with poor outcomes, and client suitability. Conclusions. These findings have implications for the delivery of guided self-help interventions for disordered eating. They suggest the value of assessing clients' readiness to change, working with clients with less severe and complex conditions, and the importance of guide qualities and skills. PRACTITIONER POINTS: • Guidance is a necessary adjunct to self-help approaches for the effective treatment of a range of disordered eating and can be delivered by trained non-eating disorder specialists. • Guided self-help appears most appropriate for less severe, binge-related eating disorders, including eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), further work is needed for use with anorexic-type presentations. • While it is important to establish and maintain a strong, open, and collaborative therapeutic relationship, client 'readiness' appears fundamental in the relationship and consequent treatment outcome.
Psychology and psychotherapy. 03/2013; 86(1):86-104.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alcohol consumption in the student population continues to be cause for concern. Building on the established evidence base for traditional brief interventions, interventions using the Internet as a mode of delivery are being developed. Published evidence of replication of initial findings and ongoing development and modification of Web-based personalized feedback interventions for student alcohol use is relatively rare. The current paper reports on the replication of the initial Unitcheck feasibility trial.
To evaluate the effectiveness of Unitcheck, a Web-based intervention that provides instant personalized feedback on alcohol consumption. It was hypothesized that use of Unitcheck would be associated with a reduction in alcohol consumption.
A randomized control trial with two arms (control=assessment only; intervention=fully automated personalized feedback delivered using a Web-based intervention). The intervention was available week 1 through to week 15. Students at a UK university who were completing a university-wide annual student union electronic survey were invited to participate in the current study. Participants (n=1618) were stratified by sex, age group, year of study, self-reported alcohol consumption, then randomly assigned to one of the two arms, and invited to participate in the current trial. Participants were not blind to allocation. In total, n=1478 (n=723 intervention, n=755 control) participants accepted the invitation. Of these, 70% were female, the age ranged from 17-50 years old, and 88% were white/white British. Data were collected electronically via two websites: one for each treatment arm. Participants completed assessments at weeks 1, 16, and 34. Assessment included CAGE, a 7-day retrospective drinking diary, and drinks consumed per drinking occasion.
The regression model predicted a monitoring effect, with participants who completed assessments reducing alcohol consumption over the final week. Further reductions were predicted for those allocated to receive the intervention, and additional reductions were predicted as the number of visits to the intervention website increased.
Unitcheck can reduce the amount of alcohol consumed, and the reduction can be sustained in the medium term (ie, 19 weeks after intervention was withdrawn). The findings suggest self-monitoring is an active ingredient to Web-based personalized feedback.
Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2013; 15(7):e137. · 3.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the outcomes of the Loozit adolescent weight management intervention and to evaluate the effect of additional therapeutic contact 12 months into the program.
A 24-month, 2-arm randomized controlled trial. Results at 12 months are presented.
Community health center and children's hospital in Sydney, Australia.
A total of 151 overweight or obese 13- to 16-year-olds.
In the first 2 months (phase 1), participants received 7 adolescent and parent weekly sessions focused on lifestyle modification. From 2 to 24 months (phase 2), adolescents attended booster sessions once every 3 months. During phase 2, adolescents randomized to the additional therapeutic contact arm also received telephone coaching and electronic communications once every 2 weeks.
Baseline to 12-month changes in body mass index z score and waist to height ratio (primary outcomes) and changes in metabolic, psychosocial, and behavioral variables.
Of 151 randomized adolescents, 82.1% completed 12-month follow-up. Intent-to-treat analyses showed significant reductions in mean body mass index z score (-0.09; 95% CI, -0.12 to -0.06), waist to height ratio (-0.02; 95% CI, -0.03 to -0.01), total cholesterol level (-4 mg/dL; 95% CI, -8 to 0 mg/dL; to convert to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.0259), and triglycerides level (geometric mean, -80 mg/dL; 95% CI, -88 to -71 mg/dL; to convert to millimoles per liter, multiply by 0.0113). Most psychosocial outcomes improved, including global self-worth, but there were few dietary, physical activity, or sedentary behavior changes. No difference was found in primary outcomes between participants who did or did not receive additional therapeutic contact.
The Loozit randomized controlled trial produced a significant but modest reduction in body mass index z score and improved psychosocial outcomes at 12 months. Supplementary telephone and electronic contact provided no additional benefit at 12 months. Trial Registration anzctr.org.au Identifier: 12606000175572.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evidence linking food restriction and food craving is equivocal. This study investigated whether dieting was associated with a greater frequency of food craving. Dieting to lose weight was distinguished from watching so as not to gain weight. Participants were 129 women (mean age=41 yrs): 52 were currently dieting to lose weight, 40 were watching their weight, and 37 were non-dieters. They completed a food craving record after every food craving, a food diary, and a daily mood assessment over 7-days. Of the 393 craving incidents recorded, dieters experienced significantly more food cravings than non-dieters, with watchers intermediate. Chocolate was the most craved food (37% of cravings) but neither the types of food, the proportion of cravings leading to eating (∼70%), the situations in which cravings occurred, nor the time since the last eating episode differed between groups. Compared with non-dieters, dieters experienced stronger cravings that were more difficult to resist, and for foods they were restricting eating. Watchers showed similarities in experience both to dieters (low hunger) and non-dieters (lower craving intensity). These results support an association between dieting and food craving, the usefulness of distinguishing dieting to lose weight and watching, and suggest a need for further experimental investigation of actual food restriction on food craving experiences.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To report our experiences with recruiting overweight and obese 13- to 16-year-olds for the Loozit® weight management randomised control trial (RCT) and to identify effective strategies for recruiting adolescents from the community to a treatment trial.
The Loozit RCT is a two-arm, community-based, lifestyle intervention that aims to evaluate the effect of additional therapeutic contact provided via telephone coaching and electronic communications as an adjunct to the Loozit group programme. Strategic areas that were targeted to recruit adolescents included media, schools, health professionals and community organisations. The programme aimed to recruit a cohort of 12-16 adolescents (body mass index z-score range 1.0-2.5) aged 13-16 years every 3 months over 3 years. Information regarding recruitment and eligibility to participate was initially assessed during a telephone screen. The relative cost effectiveness of recruitment strategies was determined based on recruitment rates and costs including administrative costs and research assistant time.
Out of 474 enquiries, 32% resulted in an enrollment to the RCT. Newspaper articles and school newsletters accounted for nearly 60% of enquiries and enrollments and were the most cost-effective recruitment strategies. Common reasons for ineligibility for inclusion in the RCT were adolescents being too young (21%) and parents consenting but adolescents refusing to participate (17%).
The most successful recruitment strategies for the Loozit RCT were local newspapers and school newsletters. Future studies should consider involving a Public Relations department and other potentially cost-effective strategies such as peer recruitment.
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 01/2012; 48(1):38-43. · 1.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Loozit(®) Study is a randomised controlled trial investigating extended support in a 24 month community-based weight management program for overweight to moderately obese, but otherwise healthy, 13 to 16 year olds.
This pre-post study examines the two month outcomes of the initial Loozit(®) group intervention received by both study arms. Adolescents (n = 151; 48% male) and their parents separately attended seven weekly group sessions focused on lifestyle modification. At baseline and two months, adolescents' anthropometry, blood pressure, and fasted blood sample were assessed. Primary outcomes were two month changes in body mass index (BMI) z-score and waist-to-height-ratio (WHtR). Secondary outcomes included changes in metabolic profile, self-reported dietary intake/patterns, physical and sedentary activities, psychological characteristics and social status. Changes in outcome measures were assessed using paired samples t-tests for continuous variables or McNemar's test for dichotomous categorical variables.
Of the 151 adolescents who enrolled, 130 (86%) completed the two month program. Among these 130 adolescents (47% male), there was a statistically significant (P < 0.01) reduction in mean [95% CI] BMI (0.27 kg/m2 [0.41, 0.13]), BMI z-score (0.05 [0.06, 0.03]), WHtR (0.02 [0.03, 0.01]), total cholesterol (0.14 mmol/L [0.24, 0.05]) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (0.12 mmol/L [0.21, 0.04]). There were improvements in all psychological measures, the majority of the dietary intake measures, and some physical activities (P < 0.05). Time spent watching TV and participating in non-screen sedentary activities decreased (P < 0.05).
The Loozit(®) program may be a promising option for stabilizing overweight and improving various metabolic factors, psychological functioning and lifestyle behaviors in overweight adolescents in a community setting.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials RegistryACTRNO12606000175572.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment guidelines recommend evidence-based guided self-help (GSH) as the first stage of treatment for bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. The current randomised control trial evaluated a cognitive behavioural therapy-based GSH pack, 'Working to Overcome Eating Difficulties,' delivered by trained mental health professionals in 6 sessions over 3 months. It was congruent with the transdiagnostic approach and so was intended as suitable for all disordered eating, except severe anorexia nervosa. Eighty one clients were randomly allocated to either a GSH or waiting list condition. Eating disorder psychopathology (EDE-Q), key behavioural features and global distress (CORE) were measured at pre- and post-intervention, and 3- and 6-month follow-up. Results showed significant improvements in eating disorder psychopathology, laxative abuse, exercise behaviours, and global distress, with the GSH condition being superior to the waiting list on all outcomes. Treatment gains were maintained at 3 and 6 months. This study adds to the evidence supporting GSH for disordered eating, including EDNOS. However, further work is needed to establish the factors that contribute to observed therapeutic improvements and determine for whom GSH is most suitable.
Behaviour Research and Therapy 01/2011; 49(1):25-31. · 3.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although an increasing number of children and adolescents are becoming obese, the psychological morbidities associated with obesity are not well established. Existing reviews report modest associations between obesity and global self-esteem. However, none have examined how this affects multi-component assessments of self-esteem and quality of life in young people with defined obesity. A literature search identified 17 self-esteem and 25 quality of life studies of cross-sectional, longitudinal or intervention design published since 1994. Child-completed and parent-proxy assessments were consistent in showing significant reductions in global self-esteem and quality of life in obese youth. Competences particularly affected were physical competence, appearance and social functioning. There were no clear differences in effects between children and adolescents, and evidence on gender and ethnicity was lacking. Competency improvements occurred in the presence and absence of weight loss, suggesting their value as intervention outcomes and the need for further investigation.
International journal of pediatric obesity: IJPO: an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 03/2010; 5(4):282-304. · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine adolescent and facilitator participation in the first 10 months of an obesity management intervention including electronic contact (e-contact) via e-mail and short message service (SMS) communication.
Participants (n=49) were overweight and obese (13-16 year olds) and were randomized to receive e-contact in the Loozit trial. Adolescents were sent brief, semipersonalized health messages approximately monthly, from 2 to 12 months. We analyzed adolescents' response patterns, reply content, satisfaction with e-contact intervention, and facilitator responsiveness. Two coding systems described the general attributes and content of adolescent replies and facilitator responses.
Adolescents' overall reply rate was 22%. There was no difference in age, sex, socioeconomic status, body mass index z-score, or initial group program attendance between the 27 adolescents who replied to 0-2 messages and the 22 who replied to >or=3 messages. Adolescent SMS replies had less characters and a quicker response time compared with e-mail replies. Adolescent responses were largely relevant to initial health messages sent (91%), with few using "SMS language" (17%) or emoticons (7%). Most adolescents rated e-contact as "somewhat helpful." Facilitators responded to 93% of adolescent replies, and most responses were personalized (93%), encouraging (88%), and educational (75%).
Although adolescent engagement was modest, SMS and e-mail communication is a feasible and acceptable adjunct to group lifestyle intervention and telephone coaching in overweight and obese adolescents. Healthy eating messages and those concluding with "please reply" elicited the highest reply rates, and thus these message types should be included in future adolescent e-contact interventions.
Telemedicine and e-Health 01/2010; 16(6):678-85. · 1.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unhealthy alcohol use among university students is cause for concern, yet the level of help seeking behavior for alcohol use is low within the student population. Electronic brief interventions delivered via the Internet present an alternative to traditional treatments and could enable the delivery of interventions on a population basis. Further evidence is needed of the effectiveness of Internet-delivered interventions and of their generalizability across educational institutions.
Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness across 4 UK universities of a Web-based intervention for student alcohol use.
In total, 1112 participants took part. Participants were stratified by educational institution, gender, age group, year of study, and self-reported weekly consumption of alcohol and randomly assigned to either the control arm or to the immediate or delayed intervention arms. Intervention participants gained access to the intervention between weeks 1 to 7 or weeks 8 to 15, respectively. The intervention provided electronic personalized feedback and social norms information on drinking behavior accessed by logging on to a website. Participants registered interest by completing a brief screening questionnaire and were then asked to complete 4 further assessments across the 24 weeks of the study. Assessments included a retrospective weekly drinking diary, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), and a readiness-to-change algorithm. The outcome variable was the number of units of alcohol consumed in the last week. The effect of treatment arm and time on units consumed last week and average units consumed per drinking occasion were investigated using repeated measures multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). In addition, the data were modeled using a longitudinal regression with time points clustered within students.
MANCOVA revealed a main effect of time on units of alcohol consumed over the last week. A longitudinal regression model showed an effect of assessment across time predicting that participants who completed at least 2 assessments reduced their drinking. The model predicted an additional effect of being assigned to an intervention arm, an effect that increased across time. Regression analysis predicted that being male or being assigned to an intervention arm increased the odds of not completing all assessments. The number of units of alcohol consumed over the last week at registration, age, university educational institution, and readiness to change were not predictive of completion.
Delivering an electronic personalized feedback intervention to students via the Internet can be effective in reducing weekly alcohol consumption. The effect does not appear to differ by educational institution. Our model suggested that monitoring alone is likely to reduce weekly consumption over 24 weeks but that consumption could be further reduced by providing access to a Web-based intervention. Further research is needed to understand the apparent therapeutic effect of monitoring and how this can be utilized to enhance the effectiveness of brief Web-based interventions.
Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2010; 12(5):e59. · 3.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dieting is practised by a large proportion of women in the developed world. Considerations of thinness and overweight promote dieting and its popular appeal is enhanced by the variety and availability of dieting strategies. However, dieting is not a benign practice. The importance of dieting to eating disorders has been recognized in studies of adolescent girls. The focus of the present review is the emergence of dieting in younger age groups. The available research indicates the presence of significant numbers of pre-adolescent girls who both express strong dieting motivation and behave accordingly. In addition, considerations of body weight and shape appear to underlie the dieting motivation of girls as young as nine. The extremely negative views of overweight held by children almost certainly contributes to the appeal of dieting. The presence of dieting and accompanying body weight and shape dissatisfaction increases the proportion of girls at risk of becoming eating disordered. Attention should be paid to ways of reducing pre-adolescent girls' desire for an unphysiological body weight and shape.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a need to develop sustainable and clinically effective weight management interventions that are suitable for delivery in community settings where the vast majority of overweight and obese adolescents should be treated. This study aims to evaluate the effect of additional therapeutic contact as an adjunct to the Loozit group program -- a community-based, lifestyle intervention for overweight and lower grade obesity in adolescents. The additional therapeutic contact is provided via telephone coaching and either mobile phone Short Message Service or electronic mail, or both.
The study design is a two-arm randomised controlled trial that aims to recruit 168 overweight and obese 13-16 year olds (Body Mass Index z-score 1.0 to 2.5) in Sydney, Australia. Adolescents with secondary causes of obesity or significant medical illness are excluded. Participants are recruited via schools, media coverage, health professionals and several community organisations. Study arm one receives the Loozit group weight management program (G). Study arm two receives the same Loozit group weight management program plus additional therapeutic contact (G+ATC). The 'G' intervention consists of two phases. Phase 1 involves seven weekly group sessions held separately for adolescents and their parents. This is followed by phase 2 that involves a further seven group sessions held regularly, for adolescents only, until two years follow-up. Additional therapeutic contact is provided to adolescents in the 'G+ATC' study arm approximately once per fortnight during phase 2 only. Outcome measurements are assessed at 2, 12 and 24 months post-baseline and include: BMI z-score, waist z-score, metabolic profile indicators, physical activity, sedentary behaviour, eating patterns, and psychosocial well-being.
The Loozit study is the first randomised controlled trial of a community-based adolescent weight management intervention to incorporate additional therapeutic contact via a combination of telephone coaching, mobile phone Short Message Service, and electronic mail. If shown to be successful, the Loozit group weight management program with additional therapeutic contact has the potential to be readily translatable to a range of health care settings.
The protocol for this study is registered with the Australian Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRNO12606000175572).
BMC Public Health 05/2009; 9:119. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the weight loss and hunger motivation effects of an energy-restricted high-protein (HP) diet in overweight and obese children. In total, 95 overweight and obese children attended an 8-week (maximum) program of physical activity, reduced-energy intake, and behavior change education. Children were randomly assigned to one of two isoenergetic diets (standard (SP): 15% protein; HP: 25% protein), based on individually estimated energy requirements. Anthropometry and body composition were assessed at the start and end of the program and appetite and mood ratings completed on the first 3 consecutive weekdays of each week children attended camp. The HP diet had no greater effect on weight loss, body composition, or changes in appetite or mood when compared to the SP diet. Overall, campers lost 5.2 +/- 3.0 kg in body weight and reduced their BMI standard deviation score (sds) by 0.25. Ratings of desire to eat increased significantly over the duration of the intervention, irrespective of diet. This is the third time we have reported an increase in hunger motivation in weight-loss campers and replicates our previous failure to block this with a higher protein diet. Further work is warranted into the management of hunger motivation as a result of negative energy balance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Students are reported to have more symptoms of mental health problems than other young people. Disordered eating and self-harm are common but evidence on comorbidity, especially in community samples, is limited. This study aimed to examine their co-occurrence, onset timing, and the help-seeking of UK university students.
Two surveys were administered to undergraduate students at a single UK university. One was administered electronically (UNIversity Quality of Life and Learning survey) and completed by 5,045 students. The second, questionnaire-based, was completed by 805 students (Student Well-Being study). Both surveys included questions about disordered eating, self-harm thoughts and behaviours, and psychological well-being.
A strong relationship was found between reports of disordered eating and self-harm, with co-occurrence observed in 4.5 and 4.9% of students in the two surveys. Disordered eating and self-harm often pre-dated university entrance and there was no evidence of increasing levels of pathology by university year group. A younger age of onset of disordered eating behaviours was reported in those with co-occurring disordered eating and self-harm. Help-seeking rates were low.
The risk of co-occurrence and earlier onset-timing of disordered eating are consistent with a limited clinical literature. Information on co-occurrence of mental health problems, their history, and low rates of help-seeking identifies some of the challenge to universities and practitioners. These results suggest the value of access to screening resources and the involvement of service-users in shaping the support provided.
British Journal of Clinical Psychology 03/2009; 48(Pt 4):397-410. · 1.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing levels of child obesity are placing pressure on all children’s services, including CAMHS. The need for input by mental health professionals is justified by the increased risk of depression, low self-esteem, binge eating, and impaired quality of life seen in obese children and adolescents. Two routes for CAMHS involvement with obese youngsters are described. Balance It!, a service operating in the NE England, is an example of a long-term approach involving Tiers 1-3 of CAMHS. Research testifies to the psychological value of weight loss. However, a series of questions remain regarding best practice, perceived need, and funding of CAMHS in child obesity.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health 02/2009; 14(3):114 - 120. · 0.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Preventive Medicine 08/2008; 47(1):17-26. · 3.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The marketing of foods to children has been criticised by parents and academics alike and the control of such advertising is being considered by politicians. Much of the current research focuses on TV advertising. This study aimed to investigate the effects of exposure to printed advertisements for healthy, less healthy and non-food products on children's mood, hunger, food choice and product recall. Accordingly, 309 children (mean age 9.7 years) received booklets in a quasi-random order. Each booklet contained one of the three types of adverts, ratings of current self-perception and a food choice measure. The booklets were presented as a school-based media literacy exercise. Body weight, height and body satisfaction were assessed 1 week later. The three groups did not differ in the effect on current state or end of session food choice. However, children recalled more of the less healthy food products, even when accounting for recent exposure. Greater product recall of less healthy foods is relevant to future consumption but has a number of possible interpretations. The further exploration of non-TV food marketing is warranted at a time when marketing through these channels is increasing, not least as a result of greater TV advertising regulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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).
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 1 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 groups.
BMC Public Health 02/2008; 8:163. · 2.08 Impact Factor