The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3319.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #56235

Improving assessment of alcohol consumption behaviors and contextual factors with wireless handheld computers: Results from a pilot study

Stuart Usdan, PhD, CHES, Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, Univeristy of South Carolina, 800 Sumter Street, HESC 220, Columbia, SC 29208, 662-325-9281, and Jay M Bernhardt, PhD, MPH, Behvioral Sciences and Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, 1518 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30322.

Alcohol use is a major problem facing U.S. college students, but few approaches exist for measuring this behavior and its related contextual factors. The purpose of this study was to examine the usability and feasibility of wireless handheld computers for daily measurement of alcohol use and contextual factors among college students. We conducted a one-week pilot study with 13 undergraduate students (62% male, mean age = 20.2; SD = 2.2) who completed a daily retrospective survey administered by wireless handheld computer and a one-week retrospective timeline followback survey (TLFB) at the end of the week, when they also completed a usability survey about their experiences with the handheld computer. For the week of drinking that was tracked, we found that the wireless handheld assessment tool for alcohol (WHAT-A) recorded 34 drinking events and the TLFB recorded 37 drinking events, and 31 drinking events were recorded for the same dates on both the WHAT-A and the TLFB. The average number of drinks per drinking day recorded on the WHAT-A was 6.9 (SD = 5.4) compared with 6.5 on the TLFB (S.D. = 5.3). Participants responded on 87 out of a possible 91 survey days, for an adherence rate of 95.6%. A usability scale for the WHAT-A administered at follow-up revealed extremely high usability scores (mean=23.6 out of 25; SD=1.76), with no differences based on previous handheld computer experience, gender, or age. Findings suggest that the WHAT-A is feasible and effective measure of daily alcohol use among college students who consume alcohol.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: N/A
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

From Cradle to the Grave: Alcohol Problems across Generations Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA