Intervention Text Messages Get Heavy Drinking Young Adults to Reduce Their Consumption
Researchers at The University of Pittsburgh say that text messages may be an effective way to get heavy drinking teens and young adults to cut down their consumption.
Working out of ERs at 3 hospitals in Pennsylvania, the researchers screened incoming youth for heavy drinking to find 39 subjects who agreed to participate in a study on text messaging as a way to reduce alcohol consumption.
Each subject was placed into 1 of 3 groups for the duration of the 12 week study:
- A control group – youth in this group were texted a reminder each week to participate in the final study
- An assessment group – youth in this group were asked to report their past week’s alcohol intake once a week
- An intervention group – youth in this group were asked to report their past week’s alcohol intake. Each week they were asked if they would like to try to reduce their intake for the following week, and if they said yes they were texted strategies for reducing their consumption.
Youth in the intervention group had fewer days of heavy drinking per week and fewer drinks per session of heavy drinking.
- Compared to the control group, those in the intervention group reported 3.4 fewer days of heavy drinking per month and 2.1 fewer drinks per heavy drinking session.
- When youth in the intervention group agreed to try to reduce their consumption in the coming week they ended up drinking anyway only 36% of the time. Those in the intervention group who set no goal to reduce their drinking in the coming week drank heavily at least once in that week 63% of the time.
The researchers say that based on the positive results of this small initial study it looks like text messaging may be an effective way to target young people at risk of alcohol abuse problems.
The full research results can be found in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
Post a comment 3
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.