An Internet-Based Program for the Reduction and Prevention of High-Risk Drinking
Small Business Information
P.O. BOX 755, WEST KINGSTON, RI, 02892
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services identified heavy drinking among college students as a major public health problem. Existing interventions generally provide alcohol education focusing on skills building, rather than tailored individualized behavior change. Harm reduction programs that do focus on behavior change have not taken advantage of the Internet, a widely used, low- cost, and effective delivery channel for health promotion. In addition, there is a lack of tailored, population- based interventions for students who have not started drinking at high-risk levels. This Phase I research proposes the development of an innovative, efficacious, and cost-effective Internet-based program that is intended to reduce high-risk drinking among college students who have already begun drinking at dangerous levels; prevent students who do not currently drink at dangerous levels from beginning to do so, based on their level of risk; and promote effective behavioral strategies to reduce alcohol-related harm in colleges. This evidence-based, individualized, interactive program based on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) and delivered by colleges to their students via the Internet or Intranet, can have substantial impacts on alcohol consumption and problems. There are several reasons for colleges to purchase this program. Market research has found that colleges want self-guided interventions that do not require active faculty participation. The program is also cost-effective, confidential, and easy to use so that the buyer does not handle data collection, storage or administrative tasks. An experienced team of alcohol, TTM, and education researchers will develop TTM measures followed by a pilot intervention created with input from an expert panel and key stakeholders. Experts and focus groups of students and faculty will evaluate the program. Fifty pilot participants will test the usability, feasibility, and acceptability of the program. This research will be supported by resources that have enabled 15 SBIRs that have resulted thus far in 8 commercial products. Relevance: Reducing heavy drinking among college students is a national health priority. This research proposes to develop an innovative, science-based, cost effective, Internet-based intervention to reduce high- risk drinking among college students who are already drinking at dangerous levels, prevent students who are not drinking at high levels from starting, and promote healthy strategies to alcohol-related harm.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.