The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5001.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #44677

Online alcohol screening: Is it feasible, practical, and valid?

Eric D. Helmuth, MA1, Anara S. Guard, MS1, Richard Saitz, MD, MPH2, and Susan Aromaa, MS1. (1) Join Together, Boston University School of Public Health, 441 Stuart Street, Suite 701, Boston, MA 02116, (2) Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, 91 East Concord Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02118

Screening and brief interventions have been shown to be effective strategies to help change drinking behaviors of risky or problem drinkers. According to the US Census Bureau, more than half of the nation is now online and almost 35% of Internet users searched for health information. If Internet users are concerned about their drinking, will they use a screening website? Just prior to National Alcohol Screening Day 2001, we launched a screening site that was widely promoted through banner ads and other means. The instrument is a modified version of the World Health Organization’s AUDIT, with two questions relating to consumption added. In the first year, more than 30,000 anonymous screens were completed. Each user received personalized feedback based upon their self-reported drinking behavior, age and gender. Users were also able to learn more, find a treatment center near them, or send responses to the webmaster. Analysis of the results focused on: testing whether users clicked appropriately, separating the curiosity-seekers from the valid results, and stratifying the data by demographics, consumption scores and AUDIT scores. Analysis of site usage revealed how users “heard about” us, whether they sought more information, and qualitative responses to the screening tool.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learning objectives

    Keywords: Alcohol Use, Screening

    Related Web page:

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Join Together, a project of the Boston University School of Public Health
    I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
    Relationship: Employment

    Understanding Alcohol Abuse Problems: Going beyond Traditional Methods

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA