Web-based Alcohol and Health Education for Older Adults

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
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Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1562 Casale Road, PACIFIC PALISADES, CA, 90272
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (310) 454-4296
Email: afink@mednet.ucla.edu
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Arlene Fink Associates, Inc. proposes to develop a research-based online alcohol education program and evaluate its effectiveness among a sample of older adults who live independently in the community. The program, A Drink to Healthy Aging , will be guided by the principles of the Health Belief and Transtheoretical models of health behavior, and will bring together a web-based version of the validated Alcohol Related Problems Survey (ARPS) for older adults, personalized feedback on drinking risks and problems, and A Toast to Health in Later Life a detailed booklet on alcohol use risks and problems. We will intensively monitor the accessibility of the program among 30 older drinkers in a community health center. To be considered accessible and ready for effectiveness evaluation, participants must be able to easily access and navigate the website and agree that the educational program's contents are relevant to older adults. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, we will randomly assign 152 people to an experimental group or to a control. Effectiveness will be measured by comparing the experimental and control groups in their readiness to change risky behaviors, drinking patterns and behavior, self-efficacy, and knowledge. The proposal responds to the NIAAA's interest in the development and evaluation of educational materials designed to inform the elderly about specific age-related risks for alcohol problems. AFA's proposed education program pays particular attention to NIAAA's emphasis on materials that address age-related reductions in alcohol tolerance, interactions between alcohol and prescription and over-the-counter medications, possible exacerbation of some medical conditions common among the elderly, potential biomedical and behavioral consequences of excessive alcohol use, and the role of alcohol in falls, traffic injuries, and other unintentional injuries. In older adults, alcohol-related risks may occur even at relatively low consumption levels because of the interaction between alcohol, declining health, increased medication use and declining functional status. The potential audience for an alcohol-related educational program is large and growing. Although older adults make use of the health care system, the evidence strongly suggests that their physicians or other health care providers are unlikely to educate them about alcohol even though alcohol-related problems and risks among the elderly are fairly common and likely to increase as the population ages. Many older adults go online for health information, and their numbers are expected to rise significantly. People who are 60 years of age and older are among the most enthusiastic Internet users, and they are also likely to require increased access to alcohol services This project aims to design easy-to-use, accessible, and inexpensive educational materials that can reach a large internet audience including patients, their physicians and other health care providers. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Alcohol-related risks in older adults occur because of the interaction between alcohol, declining health and increased medication use. This project aims to develop and evaluate accessible and effective web-based educational materials for older adults.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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