247820 A Pre-matriculation intervention for preventing alcohol related problems among college students

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ellen Reibling, PhD, MA , Department of Emergency Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Leigh Poirier Ball, MEd , Division of Graduate Education, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA
Doug Everhart, MA , Health Education Center, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA
Background: Alcohol-related problems continue to plague higher education. Online education modules are commonly used, but there is great variation in duration, cost, and many products are not tailored to local norms. This study evaluated a locally developed education module offered to first-year students at a large 4-year public institution. Methods: An online, two-part alcohol education and sexual assault prevention module was developed using local resources and distributed one month prior to school starting. The module included a pre-post assessment of alcohol related knowledge, attitudes, and feedback. Items assessed self-reported knowledge and awareness, as well as quiz items testing response accuracy to alcohol poisoning and recognizing sexual assault. A one quarter follow-up compared results from a sample of students who completed the module with those who did not. Findings: 3,751 students completed the pre-post assessment, and 1,160 completed the one quarter follow-up. Statistically significant (p<.01) improvements were identified between the pre-post assessment, including understanding of local alcohol policies (+18.7%), accurate perception of others drinking (+61.9%) , confidence in responding to suspected alcohol poisoning (+59.4%), and awareness of campus resources (+57.2%). The percentage of students positively rating the training averaged 89%, with 90% reporting intention to use the information in the future. Results at follow-up remained statistically significant (p<.05). Conclusions: Low-cost online intervention efforts can result in significant improvements in alcohol related knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Learning details regarding module development should also encourage other institutions considering adoption of this low-cost but effective intervention strategy.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. List the steps involved in developing an online alcohol education module targeting college students. 2. Identify factors linking alcohol education exposure to knowledge and attitudinal outcomes. 3. Identify strategies to develop this program on their campus with minimal resources.

Keywords: Alcohol Problems, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed and managed the evaluation of the module being reviewed.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.