Randomized trial of brief office-based interventions to reduce adolescent alcohol use

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004 Jul;158(7):635-42. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.158.7.635.


Objective: To determine whether office-based interventions change adolescents' alcohol beliefs and alcohol use.

Design: Randomized, controlled trial.

Setting: Five managed care group practices in Washington, DC.

Participants: Consecutive 12- to 17-year-olds (N = 409) seeing primary care providers (N = 26) for general check-ups. Most of the adolescents (79%) were African American, 44% were male, and 16% currently drank.

Interventions: Usual care (Group I), adolescent priming with alcohol self-assessment just prior to check-up (Group II), adolescent priming and provider prompting with adolescent self-assessment and brochure (Group III).

Main outcome measures: Adolescent alcohol beliefs at exit interview and self-reported behaviors at 6- and 12-month follow-up.

Results: At exit interview, Groups II and III reported that less alcohol was needed for impaired thinking and a greater intent to drink alcohol in the next 3 months than Group I. At 6 months, Group III reported more resistance to peer pressure to drink, and Groups II and III reported more bingeing than Group I. At 1-year follow-up, controlling for baseline levels, Groups II (odds ratio [OR], 3.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.44-6.24) and III (OR, 2.86; CI, 1.13-7.26) reported more bingeing in the last 3 months than Group I. Group II reported more drinking in the last 30 days (OR, 2.31; CI, 1.31-4.07) and in the last 3 months (OR, 1.76; CI, 1.12-2.77) than Group I.

Conclusion: Brief office-based interventions were ineffective in reducing adolescent alcohol use but may increase adolescent reporting of alcohol use.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Adolescent Health Services / standards*
  • Adolescent Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / therapy*
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Counseling / methods
  • District of Columbia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion* / standards
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Office Visits*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk-Taking
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Surveys and Questionnaires