Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Alcohol consumption amongst university students in Sweden has repeatedly been measured to be at risky levels for more than 50% of students. Internet based brief interventions aimed to intervene and prevent risky drinking have been developed with some success during recent years. Single session interventions have been implemented into routine practice in Sweden and other countries, however not all risky drinkers benefit from these single session brief interventions.
This feasibility study attempted to develop and pilot an extended session intervention, where participants received messages with motivating content several times a week for a few weeks. All students on semester 1, 3 and 5 at Linköpings Universisty were invited to join a brief single session intervention as part of routine practice, and those who completed the single session intervention were invited to join the new extended intervention.
Out of a total of 11,284 students that were invited to complete the single session intervention 4916 (%=43.6) responded. Out of these 1216 (%=24.7) decided to enrol to the extended intervention and 898 (%=77.9) completed the follow up questionnaire after the extended intervention. Participants that enrolled to the extended intervention were automatically placed in a draw for one of two iPads.
Issues were found with participants that wanted to receive messages via SMS, as 28.3% didn’t activate their SMS intervention and hence didn’t enrol to the extended intervention. Furthermore there was some indication that participants exposed to more messages were more positive towards the content, as were participants receiving SMS messages over email message. This might be an indication that email may not be up to par with SMS for delivering this type of intervention.
The study showed that this kind of extended intervention is worthwhile pursuing. Risky drinkers were more likely to find the intervention useful, and a majority of all participants would possibly or definitely recommend the intervention to a friend that needed help with their alcohol consumption. Future studies should focus on decreasing the number of participants not activating their SMS intervention, experimenting with enrolment without any prize and possibly detached from single session intervention, measuring the effect on alcohol consumption of the intervention as well as identifying any differences between receiving the intervention via email or SMS.
The responsibility of expanding and enhancing the research of fully automated brief interventions lay upon researches from several fields. There is a need of refining the human--‐computer interaction as well as the content and design of the intervention. This cannot occur effectively from a single department but should be a joint venture in order to be cost effective and to utilize expertise.
2013. , 56 p.