A randomised trial of a computer-delivered screening and brief intervention for postpartum alcohol use

Steven J. Ondersma, Dace S. Svikis, Leroy R. Thacker, Jessica R. Beatty, Nancy Lockhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction and Aims: Most women cut down or quit alcohol use during pregnancy, but return to pre-pregnancy levels of use after giving birth. Universal screening and brief intervention for alcohol use has shown promise, but has proven challenging to implement and has rarely been evaluated with postpartum women. This trial evaluated a single 20-min, electronic screening and brief intervention (e-SBI) for alcohol use among postpartum women. Design and Methods: In this parallel group randomised trial, 123 postpartum, low-income, primarily African–American women meeting criteria for unhealthy alcohol use were randomly assigned to either a tailored e-SBI (n = 61) or a time-matched control condition (n = 62), with follow-up at 3 and 6 months. Hypotheses predicted that 7-day point-prevalence abstinence and drinking days would favour the e-SBI condition. Results: No group differences were significant. Blinded follow-up evaluation revealed 7-day point prevalence of 75% for the e-SBI condition versus 82% for control at 3 months (odds ratio = 1.6) and 72% versus 73%, respectively, at 6 months. Drinking days in the past 90 and mean number of drinks per week also showed no significant differences. Discussion and Conclusions: This pilot trial failed to support a single-session e-SBI for alcohol use among postpartum women, although findings at the 3-month time point suggested that greater power might confirm transient effects of the e-SBI. As efficacy is likely to vary with e-SBI content and approach, future research should leverage technology's reproducibility and modularity to isolate key components. [Ondersma SJ, Svikis DS, Thacker LR, Beatty JR, Lockhart N. A randomised trial of a computer-delivered screening and brief intervention for postpartum alcohol use. Drug Alcohol Rev 2016;35:710–718].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-718
Number of pages9
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • alcohol drinking
  • computers
  • motivation
  • pregnancy
  • randomised clinical trial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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