Page last updated: August 11, 2015

The use of the internet for prevention of binge drinking among the college population

There are many consequences of binge drinking compared with light or moderate drinking behaviours and the prevalence rate and intensity of binge drinking is highest among the collegeaged population, authors of a review state. Given the popularity and high use of the Internet among college students, a novel approach for programming is through Internet-based interventions. A systematic review of Internet-based interventions targeting binge drinking among the college population was conducted.

Eligibility criteria included peer-reviewed articles evaluating Internet-based interventions for binge drinking prevention among college students published between 2000 and 2014. After a systematic screening process, a total of 14 articles were included for the final review. From each article the following variables were extracted: study design and sample size, average age of participants, underpinning theoretical framework, and intervention description and duration. This review also synthesised a methodological assessment with variables such as outcome measures, sample size justification, number of measurements and use of process evaluations.

All studies but one reported a significant reduction in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption and problems related with heavy drinking. Furthermore, Internet-based interventions appeared to be more effective than traditional print-based interventions; however, face-to-face interventions were typically more effective.

The review supports using the Internet as a brief intervention approach that can effectively support efforts to reduce binge drinking among college students.

Source: The Use of the Internet for Prevention of Binge Drinking Among the College Population: A Systematic Review of Evidence. Amir Bhochhibhoya , Logan Hayes, Paul Branscum , Laurette Taylor. Alcohol and Alcoholism, first published online June 2015.

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