Category: Treatment - Other
Keywords: Veterans | Alcohol | Randomized Controlled Trial
Presentation Type: Symposium
Young adult American veterans are at-risk group for problematic alcohol use. However, they are unlikely to seek formal alcohol treatment. We conducted a randomized controlled trial of a very brief personalized normative feedback (PNF) alcohol intervention delivered over the Internet. Young adult veteran drinkers (N = 784) enrolled in the study and were randomized to receive PNF featuring norms of gender-specific young adult veteran peers or an attention control condition. At immediate post-intervention (96% follow-up rate), PNF participants reported significantly greater reductions in their perceptions of peer drinking and in their intentions to drink over the next month compared to control participants. At one-month follow-up (79% follow-up rate), PNF participants reduced their drinking behavior and consequences to a significantly greater extent than controls. Specifically, PNF participants drank fewer drinks per week and fewer drinks per occasion, binge drank on fewer days, and experienced fewer consequence than control participants in the month after the intervention. We then examined whether the intervention effects were mediated by changes in perceived norms from baseline to one-month follow-up and found that changes in perceived norms mediated intervention efficacy for three of the four examined drinking outcomes. We next examined whether the impact of the intervention varied as a function of meaningful subgroups such as gender, level of drinking problems, mental health symptoms (depression, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), coping drinking motives, and closeness to the gender-specific peers targeted in the PNF. Intervention effects for drinks per occasion were most pronounced among more problematic baseline drinkers and changes in normative misperceptions regarding drinking as a result of the intervention were more strongly associated with reduced drinks per week for veterans who scored higher on a drinking to cope measure. Though effects were assessed after only one-month, the simplicity of the PNF approach, ease of administration on the Internet, and preliminary positive findings on outcomes have potential for a substantial impact on public health.
Saturday, November 18
10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
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