News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Web-based alcohol intervention programme has limited effect

Web-based alcohol intervention programme has limited effect on consumption


New research from the University of Otago shows that a web-based self-assessment and feedback programme for students who drink hazardously produced only a modest reduction in alcohol consumption.

The intervention, a 10-minute interactive web programme, was evaluated in a large randomised trial. The research, published today in the latest issue of the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, was described by the journal editors as “the definitive study in the field”.

The study involved 14,991 students randomly selected from seven New Zealand universities. Over a third of the participants completed an alcohol screening test and 3,422 students who identified with hazardous or harmful drinking were randomised to the web intervention or the control group. The groups were followed up five months later to assess their drinking and related problems.

Students who received the intervention drank seven per cent less alcohol per drinking occasion but did not drink less often or less alcohol overall. In addition, intervention programme participants did not have fewer academic problems than control group participants who did not receive intervention.

Lead author Professor Kypros Kypri says the findings are were disappointing but consistent with what often happens when studies in single sites are scaled up to national implementation.

“Since the turn of the century, more than 50 trials of web-based interventions for alcohol problems in young people have been conducted. Some smaller studies, including our own, have shown promising results. This study was a large, national trial conducted under pragmatic conditions”, says Professor Kypri.

Evaluating the intervention at a variety of sites tested its robustness across student cultures, which vary in levels of drinking, exposure to alcohol outlets and promotion, he says. “Universities all over the world are grappling with alcohol-related problems because they have large concentrations of the heaviest drinking age group in the population.”

While drinking can be a positive aspect of student life, the negative effects universities have to deal with include assaults, property damage, sexually transmitted infection, and poor academic outcomes. In response, a lot of effort is being spent on developing interventions to reduce student hazardous drinking.

“Our results show that web-based programmes cannot be relied upon alone to address these problems and should be used in conjunction with effective environmental interventions such as restriction in the physical availability and promotion of alcohol,” says Professor Kypri.

“We are of course delighted to see this modestly funded Kiwi study published in one of the world’s finest medical journals. It is testament to the cooperative approach of the New Zealand university sector and the close support of ALAC, which is sadly now defunct, that this study was possible.”

Source: Kypri K, Vater T, Bowe S, Saunders J, Cunningham JA, Horton N, McCambridge J (2014). Web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention for university students: A randomised trial. JAMA, 26 March doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2138

The project was funded by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Excerpt - Ice Bear: The Cultural History Of An Arctic Icon

“During the last decade the image of the polar bear has moved in the public imagination from being an icon of strength, independence and survival in one of the most climatically extreme of world environments, to that of fragility, vulnerability and more generally of a global environmental crisis.” More>>

NZ Opera: Max Rashbrooke Reviews The Mikado

So concerns about the work of the piece have to be addressed; but they are complex, and probably better handled in another post. So what about this production itself? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news