Phone-delivered brief motivational interventions for mandated college students delivered during the summer months

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 May-Jun;46(5):592-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 13.


Objective: Across the United States, tens of thousands of college students are mandated to receive an alcohol intervention following an alcohol policy violation. Telephone interventions may be an efficient method to provide mandated students with an intervention, especially when they are away from campus during summer vacation. However, little is known about the utility of telephone-delivered brief motivational interventions.

Method: Participants in the study (N=57) were college students mandated to attend an alcohol program following a campus-based alcohol citation. Participants were randomized to a brief motivational phone intervention (pBMI) (n=36) or assessment only (n=21). Ten participants (27.8%) randomized to the pBMI did not complete the intervention. Follow-up assessments were conducted 3, 6, and 9 months post-intervention.

Results: Results indicated the pBMI significantly reduced the number of alcohol-related problems compared to the assessment-only group. Participants who did not complete the pBMI appeared to be lighter drinkers at baseline and randomization, suggesting the presence of alternate influences on alcohol-related problems.

Conclusion: Phone BMIs may be an efficient and cost-effective method to reduce harms associated with alcohol use by heavy-drinking mandated students during the summer months.

Keywords: Alcohol; Mandated college students; Motivational interviewing.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandatory Programs*
  • Motivational Interviewing / methods*
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods
  • Students / psychology*
  • Telephone
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Young Adult