The efficacy of a targeted personalized drinking feedback intervention among intercollegiate athletes: a randomized controlled trial

Psychol Addict Behav. 2010 Dec;24(4):660-9. doi: 10.1037/a0020299.


College athletes are an at-risk population for excessive alcohol use and subsequent alcohol-related harms. The purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of an electronically delivered personalized drinking feedback (PDF) intervention targeted specifically to college athletes, both in comparison with a standard (i.e., nontargeted) PDF intervention and an education-only (EO) condition that also included targeted information. Data were collected on 263 intercollegiate athletes from three colleges (76% women, 86% White) who were randomly assigned to one of the conditions. Results provided partial support for the efficacy of the targeted PDF intervention. Students in the targeted PDF condition reported a lower peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the 6-month follow-up than those in the other conditions. Heavy drinking students in the targeted PDF condition reported a lower peak BAC than those in the other conditions at the 1-month follow-up and a lower peak BAC than those in the EO condition at the 6-month follow-up. Finally, in-season athletes in the targeted PDF condition reported fewer drinks per week than those in the PDF-standard condition at the 1-month follow-up. These findings provide preliminary support for the use of targeted PDF interventions with at-risk alcohol users, such as college athletes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / therapy*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Athletes / psychology*
  • Feedback, Psychological*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods*
  • Sex Factors
  • Students
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Universities
  • Young Adult