Send email for updates


About updates
Research abstract

This entry is for a study added to the Effectiveness Bank but not (or not yet) fully analysed. Usually the entry consists only of the reference and if available the original abstract with no comments or material changes. The original study was not published by Findings; click Title to order acopy. Free reprints may be available from the authors – click prepared e-mail. Links to other documents. Hover over for notes. Click to highlight passage referred to. Unfold extra text Unfold supplementary text

Title and link for copying Comment/query to editor

Efficacy of an online intervention to reduce alcohol-related risks among community college students.

Donovan E., Mahapatra P.D., Green T.C. et al.
Addiction Research and Theory: 2015, 23(5), p. 437–447.
Unable to obtain a copy by clicking title? Try asking the author for a reprint by adapting this prepared e-mail or by writing to Dr Donovan at donovanelizabeth@gmail.com. You could also try this alternative source.

US students starting courses at community colleges drank less after being randomly allocated to an online alcohol risk-reduction programme but there were no effects on adverse consequences of drinking or on use of strategies to prevent these.

Summary Problems associated with alcohol use are well-documented among US college students on traditional four-year courses, but less is known about community college students’ alcohol use. Compared to their four-year counterparts, community college students are older and more likely to be working (62% of full-time students work at least part-time), 17% are single parents and three-quarters live off campus. Online alcohol-related risk reduction programmes may be well-suited to community college campuses, due to reduced cost and labour effort, as well as increased accessibility for students.

The aim of the current study was to test the efficacy of an online intervention designed to reduce risks associated with alcohol use among community college students. In all 415 students newly starting courses at community colleges and who said they had drunk alcohol in the past fortnight volunteered for and were recruited to the study. They were randomly allocated to either work through the three modules (taking about 40 minutes each) of the online alcohol-related risk-reduction programme, or to act as controls who instead were instructed to view three online educational newsletters. Of these students, 319 completed baseline assessments and were included in the featured analysis, and 244 (about 59% of the original sample) completed final follow-up assessments 12 months after the interventions.

About half the students allocated to these completed all three online alcohol intervention modules. Compared to control students, over the 12 months after the intervention students allocated to the online intervention reported a reduction in the maximum number of drinks consumed on one occasion within the past week (at final follow-up, 2.9 drinks each containing about 14g alcohol versus 3.6) and a greater reduction in total drinks consumed within the past week (at final follow-up, 5.3 drinks versus 7.5). However, there were no statistically significant effects on the proportion of students who had recently engaged in heavy episodic drinking, number of days of drinking, other drug use, frequency of using protective strategies to reduce harm while drinking, or experience of negative consequences associated with alcohol or drug use.

Last revised 03 August 2015. First uploaded 03 August 2015

Comment/query to editor
Give us your feedback on the site (one-minute survey)
Open Effectiveness Bank home page
Add your name to the mailing list to be alerted to new studies and other site updates


Top 10 most closely related documents on this site. For more try a subject or free text search

STUDY 2010 Web-based alcohol prevention for incoming college students: a randomized controlled trial

REVIEW 2012 Efficacy of brief alcohol screening intervention for college students (BASICS): a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

REVIEW 2015 Electronic interventions for alcohol misuse and alcohol use disorders: a systematic review

STUDY 2010 Brief physician advice for heavy drinking college students: a randomized controlled trial in college health clinics

STUDY 2012 Personalised normative feedback for preventing alcohol misuse in university students: Solomon three-group randomised controlled trial

STUDY 2014 Web-based alcohol screening and brief intervention for university students: a randomized trial

STUDY 2011 Cluster randomised trial of the effectiveness of motivational interviewing for universal prevention

REVIEW 2015 Effects of 21st birthday brief interventions on college student celebratory drinking: A systematic review and meta-analysis

STUDY 2013 Alcohol assessment and feedback by email for university students: main findings from a randomised controlled trial

STUDY 2009 Dismantling motivational interviewing and feedback for college drinkers: a randomized clinical trial