A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of an Internet-Based Alcohol Intervention in a Workplace Setting
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The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a brief and an intensive self-help alcohol intervention and to assess the feasibility of recruiting to such interventions in a workplace setting.
Employees who screened positive for hazardous drinking (n = 85) received online personalized normative feedback and were randomly assigned to one out of two conditions: either they received an e-booklet about the effects of alcohol or they received a self-help intervention comprising 62 web-based, fully automated, and interactive sessions, plus reminder e-mails, and mobile phone text messages (Short Message Service).
Two months after baseline, the responders in the intensive condition drank an average of five to six drinks less per week compared to the responders in the brief condition (B = 5.68, 95% CI = 0.48–10.87, P = .03). There was no significant difference between conditions, using baseline observation carried forward imputation (B = 2.96, 95% CI = −0.50–6.42, P = .09). Six months after baseline, no significant difference was found, neither based on complete cases nor intent-to-treat (B = 1.07, 95% CI = −1.29–3.44, P = .37). Challenges with recruitment are thoroughly reported.
The study supports the feasibility and the safety of use for both brief and intensive Internet-based self-help in an occupational setting. The study may inform future trials, but due to recruitment problems and low statistical power, the findings are inconclusive in terms of the intensive program being more effective than brief intervention alone.
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01931618
KeywordsAlcohol early intervention Online Behavior change intervention
This trial was funded by the Norwegian Research Council and the Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research. The intervention was funded by The Workplace Advisory Centre for Issues Relating to Alcohol, Drugs, and Addictive Gambling. Trial results are owned by the University of Oslo, and there are no contractual constraints regarding publication from any of the sponsors. Thanks are extended to Marianne T. S. Holter for her useful comments and language editing of the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
In 2009, the first author, H.B., received payments from The Workplace Advisory Centre for Issues Relating to Alcohol, Drugs, and Addictive Gambling, a non-profit organization working with prevention and recovery of addictions. The advisory centre developed and funded the current intervention, and is currently implementing it across Norway. H.B. has no other competing interests. The co-authors, A.B.J., F.D., and S.N., declare that they have no competing interests.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This trial was conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, and it was approved by the Regional Ethics Comity for Medical Research (REC south-east D). Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in this study.
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