Promoting Responsible Drinking: An Internet-based, Interactive Computer Tailored

Period of Performance: 09/20/2012 - 08/31/2013


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pro-change Behavior Systems, Inc.
South Kingstown, RI 02879
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Excessive alcohol use is associated with a range of serious and costly health, social, and economic consequences at the individual and societal level. This program of research serves as a venue by which to produce and test an innovative, science-based, and cost-effective means to intervene in a private, convenient, and individualized way with employed adults who report non-dependent levels of risky drinking. Responsible Drinking offers computer-tailored intervention sessions directed at increasing readiness to limit drinking to national guidelines for low-risk drinking and a complementary dynamic web portal providing additional information, activities, and strategies designed to activate and reinforce the change process. Both e-Health intervention components are stage-matched, individually tailored based on theoretically grounded behavior change strategies, and designed to be interactive and engaging. Mobile health (m-Health) technologies, including theoretically tailored and stage-matched text messaging and mobile device browsing optimization, will be integrated to support the behavior change process, engagement in the program, and convenient delivery. The successful completion of Phase I demonstrates that Responsible Drinking is acceptable to risky drinkers, capable of producing intention to make behavior changes, and feasible to disseminate via the Internet to employed adults. The primary goals of Phase II are to complete and enhance the development of the e- Health intervention components, to add m-Health technologies, and to assess the effectiveness in a randomized clinical trial involving 614 employed adults who exceed low-risk drinking levels. This application offers innovation through offering a population-based approach, a sophisticated level of tailoring on theoretically grounded constructs, and combining e-Health and m-Health technologies. An evidence-based secondary prevention program will offer tremendous commercial benefit to help employers, insurers, disease management, and wellness companies reduce the financial, personal, and societal costs of excessive alcohol use. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Given the range and severity of health, social, and economic consequences of excessive alcohol use, promoting responsible drinking among non-dependent drinkers is of great public health importance. This research proposes to develop and test an Internet-based, individualized, and interactive program for employed adults who exceed the national guidelines for low-risk drinking. With a theoretical and science-based foundation and a cost-effective and easily deliverable platform, this intervention offers great promise to improve the health and well-being of populations of risky drinkers.