Promoting Self-Change From Alcohol Problems: Mechanisms of Change in a Community-Based Intervention (PSC3)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00732095
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : August 11, 2008
Last Update Posted : December 14, 2010
Information provided by:
Nova Southeastern University

Brief Summary:

Research has found that natural recovery (self-change) is a very common pathway to change for individuals with alcohol problems, accounting for nearly 75% of recoveries in several national surveys.

Although few members of the public are aware that self-change is possible, it also is the case that many individuals with alcohol problems do not enter treatment because of the stigma or fear of being labeled. The proposed study is based on findings from a recent randomized controlled trial designed to promote self-change in the community for problem drinkers who had never been in treatment. Media advertisements were used to recruit 825 participants. Eligible respondents were sent assessment materials to complete. After the assessment materials were returned, participants were randomly assigned to receive two alcohol pamphlets that were freely available in the community or personalized feedback based on their assessment responses (e.g., how their drinking compared to national norms, health risks associated with their drinking). A 1-year follow up found that while there were no differences in drinking behavior between the groups, both groups had very substantial reductions in their drinking 1-year pre- to 1-year post-intervention. In an attempt to determine what accounted for the change, participants' reports of their drinking were evaluated with regard to critical study elements (e. g., when assessment materials were received). Surprisingly, results revealed that many changed after seeing the advertisement, and before receiving the assessment materials to complete. This suggests that either seeing the ad ("Thinking about changing your drinking?") or a message in the ad ("Did you know that 75% of people change their drinking on their own?") may have catalyzed the change. To evaluate when change occurs and the mechanisms that may give rise to change, a randomized controlled trial involving 3 groups will be conducted. The groups will differ in whether they receive a message informing them that self-change is a common phenomenon (two groups will receive the message, one will not) and the occasion when the message is delivered (consenting to the study and before the assessment vs. with the intervention material). Comparisons made possible by the experimental design will allow an evaluation of the message as a precipitant of change. The use of Timeline Followback retrospective reports of daily drinking and recording of critical dates will allow statistical analysis of patterns of inflection (i.e., change in drinking) related to seeing the ad, receiving the message, receiving and completing the assessment materials, and receiving the intervention materials. Possible explanations for how the message could function as a mechanism of behavior change are offered (e.g., catastrophe theory, cognitive social learning theory). The ultimate objective of this research is to develop cost-effective, large scale interventions that can be viewed as an early stage in a public health, stepped care model by encouraging self-change for individuals with alcohol problems.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Alcohol Drinking Alcohol Abuse Behavioral: Promoting Self-Change with Ads Phase 3

  Show Detailed Description

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 283 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Promoting Self-Change From Alcohol Problems: Mechanisms of Change in a Community-Based Intervention
Study Start Date : March 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2010
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Alcohol

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Experimental
Immediate Ad
Behavioral: Promoting Self-Change with Ads
Use of Ads immediate or delayed or no ad

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. reduced alcohol use [ Time Frame: 3 months post intervention ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. reduced alcohol related consequences [ Time Frame: 3 months post intervention ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 21 years of age or older (legal drinking age in US)
  • report drinking an average of >12 drinks per week or having consumed ≥ 5 drinks on ≥ 5 days in the past year
  • sign an informed consent
  • willing to participate in a 90-day follow-up interview by mail after the intervention
  • willing to provide the name, address and phone number of a relative or friend who has known the participant and is willing to be provide information in the form of a short questionnaire about the participant's alcohol use and functioning 90 days after the intervention starts

Exclusion Criteria:

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00732095

United States, Florida
Nova Southeastern University, Center for Psychological Studies
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, United States, 33314
Sponsors and Collaborators
Nova Southeastern University
Principal Investigator: Linda C Sobell, Ph.D. Nova Southeastern University

Responsible Party: Nova SEU University, Dr. Linda C.S Identifier: NCT00732095     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R21AA017136 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
1R21AA017136 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: August 11, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 14, 2010
Last Verified: December 2010

Keywords provided by Nova Southeastern University:
Natural recovery
Alcohol Drinking
Mechanisms of Change

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol Drinking
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Drinking Behavior
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs