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Effects of a minimal‐guided on‐line intervention for alcohol misuse in Estonia: a randomized controlled trial


Augsburger, Mareike; Kaal, Esta; Ülesoo, Triin; Wenger, Andreas; Blankers, Matthijs; Haug, Severin; Ebert, David D; Riper, Heleen; Keough, Matthew; Noormets, Helen; Schaub, Michael P; Kilp, Karin (2022). Effects of a minimal‐guided on‐line intervention for alcohol misuse in Estonia: a randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 117(1):108-117.

Abstract

Background and aims: Estonia has one of the highest alcohol-attributable mortality rates within the European Union. The aim of this study was to estimate the efficacy of an on-line self-help intervention to reduce problem drinking at the population level.

Design: On-line open randomized controlled trial with an 8-week intervention and an active control group (intervention n = 303, control n = 286). Assessments took place at baseline and at 6 months follow-up.

Setting: On- and offline channels were used for population-based recruitment within a nation-wide prevention campaign in Estonia.

Participants: Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years, heavy drinking [Alcohol Use Disorders Identification (AUDIT) test score ≥ 8], literacy in Estonian and at least weekly access to the internet; n = 589 participants were randomized (50% male, 1% other; mean age 37.86 years; 45% with higher level of education).

Intervention and comparator: The intervention consisted of 10 modules based on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. The active control group received access to a website with a self-test including personalized normative feedback and information for standard alcohol treatment.

Measurements: The primary outcome was AUDIT scores at 6 months follow-up adjusted for baseline scores.

Findings: Intention-to-treat analyses were applied. Missing data were addressed by using baseline observation carried forward (BOCF) and multiple imputation by chained equations (MI); 175 completed follow-up in the intervention group and 209 in the control group. AUDIT score at follow-up was significantly smaller in the intervention [BOCF mean = 13.91, standard deviation (SD) = 7.61, MI mean = 11.03, SD = 6.55] than control group (BOCF mean = 15.30, SD = 7.31; MI mean = 14.30, SD = 7.21), with a group difference of -1.38 [95% confidence interval (CI) = -2.58, -0.18], P = 0.02 for BOCF and -3.26 (95% CI = -2.01, -4.51), P < 0.001 for MI.

Conclusions: A randomized controlled trial has found that an on-line self-help intervention with minimal guidance was effective at reducing problem drinking in Estonia.

Keywords: AUDIT; Alcohol; Estonia; RCT; drinking; e-intervention; minimal guidance; self-help

Abstract

Background and aims: Estonia has one of the highest alcohol-attributable mortality rates within the European Union. The aim of this study was to estimate the efficacy of an on-line self-help intervention to reduce problem drinking at the population level.

Design: On-line open randomized controlled trial with an 8-week intervention and an active control group (intervention n = 303, control n = 286). Assessments took place at baseline and at 6 months follow-up.

Setting: On- and offline channels were used for population-based recruitment within a nation-wide prevention campaign in Estonia.

Participants: Inclusion criteria were age ≥ 18 years, heavy drinking [Alcohol Use Disorders Identification (AUDIT) test score ≥ 8], literacy in Estonian and at least weekly access to the internet; n = 589 participants were randomized (50% male, 1% other; mean age 37.86 years; 45% with higher level of education).

Intervention and comparator: The intervention consisted of 10 modules based on principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. The active control group received access to a website with a self-test including personalized normative feedback and information for standard alcohol treatment.

Measurements: The primary outcome was AUDIT scores at 6 months follow-up adjusted for baseline scores.

Findings: Intention-to-treat analyses were applied. Missing data were addressed by using baseline observation carried forward (BOCF) and multiple imputation by chained equations (MI); 175 completed follow-up in the intervention group and 209 in the control group. AUDIT score at follow-up was significantly smaller in the intervention [BOCF mean = 13.91, standard deviation (SD) = 7.61, MI mean = 11.03, SD = 6.55] than control group (BOCF mean = 15.30, SD = 7.31; MI mean = 14.30, SD = 7.21), with a group difference of -1.38 [95% confidence interval (CI) = -2.58, -0.18], P = 0.02 for BOCF and -3.26 (95% CI = -2.01, -4.51), P < 0.001 for MI.

Conclusions: A randomized controlled trial has found that an on-line self-help intervention with minimal guidance was effective at reducing problem drinking in Estonia.

Keywords: AUDIT; Alcohol; Estonia; RCT; drinking; e-intervention; minimal guidance; self-help

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Medicine (miscellaneous)
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychiatry and Mental health, Medicine (miscellaneous)
Language:English
Date:1 January 2022
Deposited On:12 Oct 2022 08:26
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 01:40
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0965-2140
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/add.15633
PubMed ID:34184795
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)