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Web-based intervention for alcohol use in women of childbearing potential

  • Author(s): Howlett, Katia Delrahim
  • et al.
Abstract

There is a need for more effective assessment and primary prevention programs aimed at accurately measuring and reducing alcohol consumption among women before conception in underserved, high-risk populations. Health Information Technology (HIT) may serve this purpose; however, the effectiveness of such tools is not known. We conducted a small-scale randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of an adapted web-based alcohol assessment and intervention tool among low-income, non-pregnant women of reproductive age who were receiving WIC services in San Diego County and who reported currently drinking in a binge pattern. A total of 150 binge-drinking participants completed a web-based assessment and were randomly assigned to either receive a personalized feedback intervention or general health information about alcohol consumption and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Follow-Up assessments on reported alcohol consumption were conducted via telephone at 1- and 2-months post baseline. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 44 and were predominately Hispanic/Latina (44%). At baseline, all respondents reported consuming >̲ 3 standard drinks on >̲ 1 occasion in the previous month. Outcome was available for 131 participants. The main outcome measure was reduction in number of risky drinking occasions, and did not differ significantly between treatment conditions, (OR 1.200, 95% CI 0.567-2.539, p = 0.634). However, over 70% of the participants reported a reduction in risky drinking occasions regardless of treatment condition (Control 43/63, 68%; Experimental 49/68, 72%). Furthermore, after controlling for confounding in a multivariate hierarchical logistic regression model, the estimate of treatment effect reached borderline significance (OR 2.922, 95% CI 0.991-8.613, p = 0.052). The results of the present study demonstrate that web-based assessment of alcohol consumption among low-income women of reproductive age, as represented by WIC clients, is feasible and acceptable. The findings also suggest that detailed and interactive assessments of alcohol consumption may be sufficient for the reduction of risky drinking within this population and personalized feedback may provide additional benefits for some individuals

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