Objective: The U.S. military has traditionally had high rates of alcohol misuse and alcohol-related problems, necessitating effective treatment programs that minimize participant burden. Web-based interventions have shown promise as efficient treatment options for college students and adults but have not been widely evaluated in the military. This study evaluated the efficacy of two web-based alcohol interventions originally created for civilians and then adapted for U.S. military personnel.
Method: Two web-based alcohol interventions, Alcohol Savvy and Drinker's Check-Up, were adapted for use among military populations. The interventions were evaluated using a convenience sample of 3,070 active-duty military personnel at eight installations. Following a baseline survey, participants were assigned to one of three treatment conditions: (a) Alcohol Savvy, (b) Drinker's Check-Up, or (c) control (no program participation). Follow-up surveys were completed by 1,072 participants 1 month following baseline and by 532 participants 6 months following baseline.
Results: At 1-month follow-up, participants who completed the Drinker's Check-Up intervention had significant reductions in multiple measures of alcohol use relative to controls. Positive outcomes were found for average number of drinks consumed per occasion, frequent heavy episodic drinker status, and estimated peak blood alcohol concentration. These reductions in alcohol use at the 1-month follow-up were maintained at the 6-month follow-up. There were no statistically significant changes in alcohol use for participants who completed Alcohol Savvy.
Conclusions: This study expands the literature on the effectiveness of web-based treatment for alcohol misuse. Findings indicate that web-based programs (Drinker's Check-Up in particular) can significantly decrease several indicators of alcohol use in U.S. military personnel.