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The effectiveness of web-based interventions designed to decrease alcohol consumption – a systematic review

Bewick, B.M., Trusler, K., Barkham, M., Hill, A.J., Cahill, J. and Mulhern, B. (2008) The effectiveness of web-based interventions designed to decrease alcohol consumption – a systematic review. Preventive Medicine, 47 (1). pp. 17-26. ISSN 0091-7435

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To review the published literature on the effectiveness of web-based interventions designed to decrease consumption of alcohol and/or prevent alcohol abuse.


Relevant articles published up to, and including, May 2006 were identified through electronic searches of Medline, PsycInfo, Embase, Cochrane Library, ASSIA, Web of Science and Science Direct. Reference lists of all articles identified for inclusion were checked for articles of relevance. An article was included if its stated or implied purpose was to evaluate a web-based intervention designed to decrease consumption of alcohol and/or to prevent alcohol abuse. Studies were reliably selected and quality-assessed, and data were independently extracted and interpreted by two authors.


Initial searches identified 191 articles of which 10 were eligible for inclusion. Of these, five provided a process evaluation only, with the remaining five providing some pre-to post-intervention measure of effectiveness. In general the percentage quality criteria met was relatively low and only one of the 10 articles selected was a randomized control trial.

CONCLUSION The current review provides inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of eIectronic screening and brief intervention (eSBI) for alcohol use. Process research suggests that web-based interventions are generally well received. However further controlled trials are needed to fully investigate their efficacy, to determine which elements are keys to outcome and to understand if different elements are required in order to engage low- and high-risk drinkers.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2008 Elsevier B.V. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Preventive Medicine. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Sheffield, The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > University of Sheffield Research Centres and Institutes > Centre for Psychological Services Research (Sheffield)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Medicine and Health (Leeds) > School of Medicine (Leeds) > Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (Leeds)
Depositing User: Sherpa Assistant
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2008 15:30
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:05
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.005
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2008.01.005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4473

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