Controlled trial of worksite health education through face-to-face counseling vs. e-mail on drinking behavior modification

J Occup Health. 2006 Jul;48(4):239-45. doi: 10.1539/joh.48.239.


This study examined the effectiveness of a traditional face-to-face health education and e-mail health education on alcohol usage among male workers in comparison with a control group. Male workers at a manufacturing plant (N=36) who had abnormal serum gamma-GTP were stratified by age and job types, then randomized into three groups: face-to-face education, e-mail education, and the control. The subjects were assessed on their knowledge about and attitude towards drinking, reported alcohol consumption, and serum gamma-GTP before the start of education and 2 months later after comparison of the education. Paired t-test and repeated ANOVA were conducted to test the significance of changes pre and post the intervention and across groups. In the face-to-face group, knowledge (p=0.001), attitude (p=0.026), alcohol consumption (p=0.003) and serum gamma-GTP showed significant improvement. In the e-mail group, only alcohol consumption showed marginal improvement (p=0.077). In the control group, no variables remarkably changed. These results indicate that the face-to-face health education was more effective than the e-mail program. We discuss why the face-to-face approach was superior to the e-mail approach in this study by referring to self-monitoring, goal setting processes and timely feedback. We concluded that further studies are warranted to identify the effect of health education using e-mails and other network tools in consideration of the above three factors.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Counseling*
  • Electronic Mail*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Workplace*