15 November 2013

Grant award from the European Foundation for Alcohol Research to Norman, Webb and Millings

We are pleased to announce a grant award of 60k euros to Paul Norman, Tom Webb and Abi Millings as well as colleagues in Scharr. The title of the project is "A brief online psychosocial intervention to reduce binge drinking in new university students: Targeting reception, motivation, and volition at a teachable moment"

Scientific Summary:

Excessive drinking in a single session (i.e., binge drinking) is a common behaviour among university students that is associated with negative social and health outcomes. The proposed research takes advantage of the transition from school to university, when young people’s beliefs and behaviour may be more malleable, to deliver a brief online intervention that will test three health behaviour change techniques from health psychology: (i) self-affirmation to reduce defensive processing of health messages, (ii) theory-based messages to target key beliefs underlying binge drinking and (iii) implementation intentions to translate good intentions into action. All incoming students to a large UK city university (n≈4000) will be sent an online questionnaire one-month before starting university. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of eight conditions comprising different combinations of the three health behaviour change techniques (i.e., a full 2x2x2 factorial design). Participants will be followed-up 1 week, 1 month and 6 months after starting university to examine intervention effects on binge drinking beliefs and behaviour. The proposed research also includes a health economics analysis of the potential longer-term benefits and cost-effectiveness of the intervention. The proposed research is novel in terms of content (examining different health behaviour change techniques), timing (using a significant life transition - i.e., a “teachable moment”) and delivery (i.e., using online resources of which young people are the prime users).