Online Program

Reducing binge drinking in at-risk young adults using a computer-delivered intervention delivered through text messaging: Preliminary findings

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.

Brian Suffoletto, MD, MS, Department of Emergecy Medicine, University of PIttsburgh, Pittsnurgh, PA
Our objective was to evaluate whether a computer delivered intervention (CDI) focused on self-monitoring and goal-setting delivered through text messaging over a 12-week period can be used to reduce binge drinking among at-risk adults aged 18-25 years of age. The CDI prompts participants to report weekend drinking plans each Thursday, and if they report plan to drink, asks them if they are willing to set a goal to reduce their drinking. The CDI then prompts participants each Sunday to report their weekend alcohol consumption and provides normative feedback. Baseline characteristics for participants (n=62) include 35% under age 21 years, 36% black race, 35% currently enrolled in college. All participants were AUDIT-C positive (score >2 for women & >3 for men). There was a 66% response rate to Thursday prompts, a reported plan to binge 29% of weekends, and a willingness to set a goal to reduce drinking 72% of the time. 87% of Sunday prompts were completed with a mean 5.8 (SD 5.4) drinks in those who planned to binge versus 2.9 (SD 2.3) drinks in those who did not plan to binge, and a mean 6.5 (SD 5.5) in those willing to set a goal versus 7.6 (SD 5.3) in those not willing to set a goal. Over the first 4 weeks of exposure, the proportion of participants with a binge episode decreased from 31% to 16%. Although preliminary, these findings suggest that CDIs that leverage text messaging may be used to reduce harmful drinking among young adults.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe the baseline features of young adults with hazardous drinking behavior who present to the Emergency Department. Demonstrate young adult adherence to alcohol-related text messaging dialog prompts. Assess the relationship between pre-weekend drinking plans and actual alcohol consumption among young adults. Evaluate whether prompting young adults to set pre-weekend drinking reduction goals results in reductions in binge episodes.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Telehealth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of several large foundation grants focusing on using computer-delivered interventions delivered through text messaging to improve health behavior, specifically focused on reducing hazardous drinking and related consequences among young adults.
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.