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Effectiveness of a Text Messaging-Based Intervention Targeting Alcohol Consumption Among University Students: Randomized Controlled Trial
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6434-4855
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5173-5419
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5523-4141
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0279-5903
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2018 (English)In: JMIR mhealth and uhealth, E-ISSN 2291-5222, Vol. 6, no 6, article id e146Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Excessive drinking among university students is a global challenge, leading to significant health risks. However, heavy drinking among students is widely accepted and socially normalized. Mobile phone interventions have attempted to reach students who engage in excessive drinking. A growing number of studies suggest that text message-based interventions could potentially reach many students and, if effective, such an intervention might help reduce heavy drinking in the student community. Objective: The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of a behavior change theory-based 6-week text message intervention among university students. Methods: This study was a two-arm, randomized controlled trial with an intervention group receiving a 6-week text message intervention and a control group that was referred to treatment as usual at the local student health care center. Outcome measures were collected at baseline and at 3 months after the initial invitation to participate in the intervention. The primary outcome was total weekly alcohol consumption. Secondary outcomes were frequency of heavy episodic drinking, highest estimated blood alcohol concentration, and number of negative consequences attributable to excessive drinking. Results: A total of 896 students were randomized to either the intervention or control group. The primary outcome analysis included 92.0% of the participants in the intervention group and 90.1% of the control group. At follow-up, total weekly alcohol consumption decreased in both groups, but no significant between-group difference was seen. Data on the secondary outcomes included 49.1% of the participants in the intervention group and 41.3% of the control group. No significant between-group difference was seen for any of the secondary outcomes. Conclusions: The present study was under-powered, which could partly explain the lack of significance. However, the intervention, although theory-based, needs to be re-assessed and refined to better support the target group. Apart from establishing which content forms an effective intervention, the optimal length of an alcohol intervention targeting students also needs to be addressed in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JMIR PUBLICATIONS, INC , 2018. Vol. 6, no 6, article id e146
Keywords [en]
alcohol consumption intervention; text message-based intervention; university students; brief intervention
National Category
Substance Abuse
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-149731DOI: 10.2196/mhealth.9642ISI: 000436207100005PubMedID: 29941417OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-149731DiVA, id: diva2:1234375
Note

Funding Agencies|Public Health Agency in Sweden [05670-2014-6.2]

Available from: 2018-07-24 Created: 2018-07-24 Last updated: 2019-04-03

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Thomas, KristinMüssener, UlrikaLinderoth, CatharinaKarlsson, NadineBendtsen, PrebenBendtsen, Marcus

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Thomas, KristinMüssener, UlrikaLinderoth, CatharinaKarlsson, NadineBendtsen, PrebenBendtsen, Marcus
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Division of Community MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDepartment of Medical Specialist in Motala
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Substance Abuse

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