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An Internet-based Intervention for Problem Drinking

This study has been completed.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Information provided by:
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Identifier:
First received: August 21, 2006
Last updated: August 13, 2010
Last verified: August 2010

The main aim of this randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the efficacy of an Internet-delivered self-help intervention for problem drinkers in the general population.

Adult problem drinkers with home access to the Internet will be recruited from the CAMH Monitor. Subjects will be randomly assigned to receive a website address where they can obtain personalized feedback about their drinking, or to a no intervention control group.

Three-month and six-month follow-up surveys will be conducted by mail to assess drinking over the following three month periods. Collaterals will be requested and interviewed after the six-month follow-up. Subjects will be paid $40.00 and collaterals will be paid $20.00 for their participation. Drinking at three- and six-months will be compared between the groups. Subjects in the control group will be provided with the website address following the six-month follow-up.

Condition Intervention
Procedure: Internet personalized alcohol feedback (PAF)

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: An Internet-based Intervention for Problem Drinking

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • frequency of consumption
  • drinks per occasion
  • number of drinks in a typical week
  • frequency of 5+ consumption
  • highest number of drinks on one occasion.

Estimated Enrollment: 359
Study Start Date: September 2006
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2009
Detailed Description:

Self-change interventions have great potential to aid the many problem drinkers who do not seek formal treatment. Because self-change interventions circumvent some of the barriers associated with traditional treatment services, they may help reduce the harm associated with alcohol abuse among untreated individuals, whose number far exceeds that of the minority who ever access formal alcohol treatment programs. Self-change/self-help materials have the added advantage of being relatively inexpensive, increasing their potential for wide distribution and attendant public health impact. The Internet is one promising route for distributing such materials to a large segment of the population. Three-quarters of Canadians and Americans use the Internet, including a large number who seek health-related information on line. Drinking self-change websites abound on the Internet, but because none has been scientifically evaluated it is unknown whether such sites do more good than harm.

By being the first large scale, controlled evaluation, this project intends to advance the science of Internet-mediated intervention as well as provide valuable public health information on the effectiveness of Internet-delivered self-change materials. Specifically, the major objective of this project is to conduct a randomized controlled evaluation of the impact of an Internet-based self-help intervention for problem drinkers in the general population.

Participants will be recruited through the ongoing general population survey - the CAMH Monitor (N = 170 after attrition), and will be randomly assigned to be sent a World Wide Web page Internet address and password for the personalized alcohol feedback program or to a no intervention control group. Three and six-month drinking outcomes will be compared between experimental conditions using structural equation modeling.

The primary hypothesis is that respondents in the Internet personalized alcohol feedback condition will display significantly improved drinking outcomes at three and six-month follow-ups as compared to respondents in the no intervention control condition. Secondary hypotheses will address the mediating or moderating role of perceived drinking norms, perceived risk and the problem drinker's social reasons for drinking.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • have home access to the Internet
  • interested in receiving a computerized assessment of their drinking
  • have a score of 8 or higher on the AUDIT.
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00367575

United States, California
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford, California, United States
Canada, Alberta
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Canada, Ontario
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 2S1
Sponsors and Collaborators
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Principal Investigator: John A Cunningham, PhD Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  More Information

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number): Identifier: NCT00367575     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 053/2005
Study First Received: August 21, 2006
Last Updated: August 13, 2010

Keywords provided by Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:
internet personalized alcohol feedback

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on April 26, 2017