Incorporation of Normative Feedback into National Alcohol Screening Day: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Short-term Impact on Alcohol Use and Related Behaviors
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
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Despite more than one-third of college students reporting alcohol misuse, few seek treatment. National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD) was initiated to promote treatment seeking, yet most attendees do not meet criteria for alcohol use disorder (AUD), and are not provided a treatment referral. Among attendees that are referred, few report intent to follow-up. This suggests that when conducted solely as a screening event, NASD results in missed opportunities to promote reductions in alcohol misuse among moderate and heavy drinking students alike. To address this issue we tested the feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of incorporating a normative feedback intervention into NASD. Data on feasibility and acceptability were collected from NASD clinicians (N = 17) and data on acceptability, and immediate and short-term efficacy (i.e., change in perceptions and alcohol consumption) were collected from NASD attendees (N = 86). For comparison, a group of non-NASD attendees (N = 205) completed similar measures. Results indicate that clinicians found the protocol to be feasible, and that both clinicians and attendees viewed the intervention favorably. After the intervention there was an immediate reduction in the number of attendees who over-estimated normative drinking quantity. At short-term follow-up attendees were less likely than non-attendees to over-estimate normative drinking quantity, and reported greater motivation to reduce drinking; there were no meaningful differences between groups on measures of alcohol consumption or alcohol-related problems. Future work utilizing a randomized design and longer follow-up is needed to determine whether these effects are specific to the intervention, and whether there are emergent effects on alcohol consumption.