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A Text Message-Based Intervention Targeting Alcohol Consumption Among University Students: User Satisfaction and Acceptability Study.
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: 0000-0001-6434-4855
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center for Business support and Development, Department of Health and Care Development.
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2018 (English)In: JMIR Human Factors, E-ISSN 2292-9495, Vol. 5, no 3, article id e23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Heavy consumption of alcohol among university students is a global problem, with excessive drinking being the social norm. Students can be a difficult target group to reach, and only a minority seek alcohol-related support. It is important to develop interventions that can reach university students in a way that does not further stretch the resources of the health services. Text messaging (short message service, SMS)-based interventions can enable continuous, real-time, cost-effective, brief support in a real-world setting, but there is a limited amount of evidence for effective interventions on alcohol consumption among young people based on text messaging. To address this, a text messaging-based alcohol consumption intervention, the Amadeus 3 intervention, was developed.

OBJECTIVE: This study explored self-reported changes in drinking habits in an intervention group and a control group. Additionally, user satisfaction among the intervention group and the experience of being allocated to a control group were explored.

METHODS: Students allocated to the intervention group (n=460) were asked about their drinking habits and offered the opportunity to give their opinion on the structure and content of the intervention. Students in the control group (n=436) were asked about their drinking habits and their experience in being allocated to the control group. Participants received an email containing an electronic link to a short questionnaire. Descriptive analyses of the distribution of the responses to the 12 questions for the intervention group and 5 questions for the control group were performed.

RESULTS: The response rate for the user feedback questionnaire of the intervention group was 38% (176/460) and of the control group was 30% (129/436). The variation in the content of the text messages from facts to motivational and practical advice was appreciated by 77% (135/176) participants, and 55% (97/176) found the number of messages per week to be adequate. Overall, 81% (142/176) participants stated that they had read all or nearly all the messages, and 52% (91/176) participants stated that they were drinking less, and increased awareness regarding negative consequences was expressed as the main reason for reduced alcohol consumption. Among the participants in the control group, 40% (52/129) stated that it did not matter that they had to wait for access to the intervention. Regarding actions taken while waiting for access, 48% (62/129) participants claimed that they continued to drink as before, whereas 35% (45/129) tried to reduce their consumption without any support.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the main randomized controlled trial was not able to detect a statistically significant effect of the intervention, most participants in this qualitative follow-up study stated that participation in the study helped them reflect upon their consumption, leading to altered drinking habits and reduced alcohol consumption.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number ISRCTN95054707; http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN95054707 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/705putNZT).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Toronto, Canada: J M I R Publications, Inc. , 2018. Vol. 5, no 3, article id e23
Keywords [en]
SMS, alcohol consumption intervention, mobile phones, students, text messages
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-153600DOI: 10.2196/humanfactors.9641PubMedID: 29991469Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85052017018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-153600DiVA, id: diva2:1274093
Available from: 2018-12-27 Created: 2018-12-27 Last updated: 2019-05-02Bibliographically approved

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Müssener, UlrikaAndersson, E KristinLinderoth, CatharinaLeijon, Matti E.Bendtsen, Marcus

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