Prevention Science

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 310–320 | Cite as

Evaluating Personalized Feedback Intervention Framing with a Randomized Controlled Trial to Reduce Young Adult Alcohol-Related Sexual Risk Taking

  • Melissa A. LewisEmail author
  • Isaac C. Rhew
  • Anne M. Fairlie
  • Alex Swanson
  • Judyth Anderson
  • Debra Kaysen


The purpose of this study was to evaluate personalized feedback intervention (PFI) framing with two web-delivered PFIs aimed to reduce young adult alcohol-related risky sexual behavior (RSB). Combined PFIs typically use an additive approach whereby independent components on drinking and components on RSB are presented without the discussion of the influence of alcohol on RSB. In contrast, an integrated PFI highlights the RSB-alcohol connection by presenting integrated alcohol and RSB components that focus on the role of intoxication as a barrier to risk reduction in sexual situations. In a randomized controlled trial, 402 (53.98% female) sexually active young adults aged 18–25 were randomly assigned to a combined PFI, an integrated PFI, or attention control. All assessment and intervention procedures were web-based. At the 1-month follow-up, those randomly assigned to the integrated condition had a lower likelihood of having any casual sex partners compared to those in the control group. At the 6-month follow-up, the combined condition had a lower likelihood of having any casual sex partners compared to those in the control group. When examining alcohol-related RSB, at the 1-month follow-up, both interventions showed a lower likelihood of any drinking prior to sex compared to the control group. When examining alcohol-related sexual consequences, results showed a reduction in the non-zero count of consequences in the integrated condition compared to the control at the 1-month follow-up. For typical drinks per week, those in the combined condition showed a greater reduction in the non-zero count of drinks than those in the control condition at the 1-month follow-up. While there were no significant differences between the two interventions, the current findings highlight the utility of two efficacious web-based alcohol and RSB interventions among a national sample of at-risk young adults.


Personalized feedback intervention Young adults Alcohol Sexual risk taking Negative consequences 



Data collection and manuscript preparation were supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant R21AA021767. The content of this manuscript is solely the responsibility of the author(s) and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

There authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This study had IRB approval. All applicable national and institutional guidelines for studies with human participants were followed.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa A. Lewis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isaac C. Rhew
    • 2
  • Anne M. Fairlie
    • 2
  • Alex Swanson
    • 2
  • Judyth Anderson
    • 2
  • Debra Kaysen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health Behavior and Health SystemsUniversity of North Texas Health Science CenterFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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