Research & Resources

A Randomized Pilot Trial of a Mobile Delivered Brief Motivational Interviewing and Behavioral Economic Alcohol Intervention for Emerging Adults

This study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of live, text-message-delivered brief motivational interventions (BMIs) about alcohol awareness in a pilot randomized clinical trial. Participants were 66 college students reporting an average of 11.88 drinks per week, 4.42 lifetime heavy drinking episodes (HDEs), and 8.44 alcohol-related problems in the past month. Participants were randomized to receive either education or an alcohol BMI plus behavioral economic substance-free activity session (SFAS), each followed by 4 weeks of mini-sessions. All sessions were administered via live text message. Results showed that 90.9% of participants completed both initial full-length sessions and at least two of the four mini-sessions, with 87.9% retention at 3-month follow-up. Participants reported finding the interventions useful, interesting, relevant, and effective, with no between-group differences. There were no statistically significant group differences in drinks per week or alcohol-related problems at follow-up, but BMI-plus-SFAS participants reported fewer past-month HDEs than those who received education.

This paper, “A randomized pilot trial of a mobile delivered brief motivational interviewing and behavioral economic alcohol intervention for emerging adults,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the journal Psychology of addictive behaviors.

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