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Web interventions for alcohol misuse

Date:
August 3, 2015
Source:
American College of Physicians
Summary:
Low-intensity electronic interventions may slightly reduce alcohol consumption among adults and college students, research suggests, but may be ineffective for reducing binge-drinking frequency and the negative social consequences associated with alcohol misuse, says a new report.
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A systematic evidence review published in Annals of Internal Medicine finds that low-intensity electronic interventions may slightly reduce alcohol consumption among adults and college students, but may be ineffective for reducing binge-drinking frequency and the negative social consequences associated with alcohol misuse. The evidence suggests that higher intensity interventions may be needed to reduce drinking to a level that is compliant with recommended drinking limits.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that physicians screen their patients for alcohol misuse and offer brief counseling interventions to those who need it. Studies have shown these interventions to be effective for reducing alcohol consumption, but inadequate funding, time, and lack of trained personnel can create barriers to counseling. If effective, web-based interventions could eliminate some of these barriers and extend the reach of treatment.

Researchers reviewed 28 unique trials to determine the efficacy of electronic interventions for reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related impairment. The researchers found limited evidence that electronic interventions worked in the short-term to slightly reduce alcohol consumption in adults and college students who screened positive for hazardous alcohol use. There was little evidence to suggest that web-based interventions had any clinically significant effects in the long-term. The researchers suggest that more intensive interventions with human support could have greater benefits.


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Materials provided by American College of Physicians. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Eric A. Dedert, Jennifer R. McDuffie, Roy Stein, J. Murray McNiel, Andrzej S. Kosinski, Caroline E. Freiermuth, Adam Hemminger, John W. Williams. Electronic Interventions for Alcohol Misuse and Alcohol Use Disorders. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2015; 163 (3): 205 DOI: 10.7326/M15-0285

Cite This Page:

American College of Physicians. "Web interventions for alcohol misuse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150803212501.htm>.
American College of Physicians. (2015, August 3). Web interventions for alcohol misuse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150803212501.htm
American College of Physicians. "Web interventions for alcohol misuse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150803212501.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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