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Brief Mail Intervention As An Effective Tool Among Young People
The objectives of this research undertaken by a research fellow at a New Zealand University were (1) to determine whether brief intervention is effective in reducing hazardous drinking among young people, and (2) to identify the specific conditions which make it effective in terms of setting, duration, and method. The study analyzed responses from 1,638 college students in four countries aged 15 to 24. The study reports that brief intervention methods relying on mail or computers are both appealing and effective among young people. Specifically, the study found that a five-minute in-person intervention has proven to be as effective as longer interventions. Among college students, hazardous drinkers respond well to electronic assessment and feedback about their alcohol consumption, as opposed to a discussion about their drinking with a doctor or other health professional. The use of “motivational feedback” where information is provided to an individual which draws attention to discrepancies between their health goals and their actual behavior is most effective among college students when administered electronically as when privately mailed to the individual. Such approaches could reach even more students if disseminated through electronic means.

SOURCE: February, 2004, alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental research

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