Motivational interviewing + feedback intervention to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk among college binge drinkers: determinants and patterns of response
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Many college women are at risk for pregnancy, and binge drinking college women are often at risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy. Brief interventions with sustainable outcomes are needed, particularly for college women who are binge drinking, at risk for pregnancy, and at increased risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancy. Two-hundred-twenty-eight women at a Mid-Atlantic urban university at risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy enrolled in the randomized clinical trial, and 207 completed the 4 month follow-up. The BALANCE intervention used Motivational Interviewing plus feedback to target drinking and contraception behaviors. Main outcome measures included (1) the rate of risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy, (2) the rate of risk drinking, and (3) the rate of pregnancy risk. At 4-month follow-up, the rate of alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk was significantly lower in the intervention (20.2%) than the control condition (34.9%), (P < .02). Assignment to the intervention condition halved the odds of women remaining at risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy, while not receiving the intervention doubled the odds of continued alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 1.16–4.09). A baseline history of blackouts, continued high blood alcohol drinking days at 1 month, and continued risk for pregnancy at 1 month independently contributed to a multivariate model of continued alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk at 4 month follow-up. BALANCE reduced alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk, with similar outcomes to longer interventions. Because early response predicted sustained alcohol-exposed pregnancy risk reduction, those who fail to achieve initial change could be identified for further intervention. The BALANCE intervention could be adopted into existing student health or university alcohol programs. The risks of unintended pregnancy and alcohol-exposed pregnancy among binge drinking women in college merit greater prevention efforts.