Reducing Alcohol Use During Pregnancy Via Health Counseling by Midwives and Internet-Based Computer-Tailored Feedback: A Cluster Randomized Trial

N.Y. van der Wulp*, C. Hoving, K. Eijmael, M.J.J.M. Candel, W. van Dalen, H. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Web of Science)


Background: Effective interventions are needed to reduce neurobehavioral impairments in children due to maternal alcohol use during pregnancy. Currently, health-counseling interventions have shown inconsistent results to reduce prenatal alcohol use. Thus, more research using health counseling is needed to gain more knowledge about the effectiveness of this type of intervention on reducing alcohol use during pregnancy. An alternative and promising strategy is computer tailoring. However, to date, no study has shown the effectiveness of this intervention mode. Objective: The aim was to test the effectiveness of health counseling and computer tailoring on stopping and reducing maternal alcohol use during pregnancy in a Dutch sample of pregnant women using alcohol. Methods: A total of 60 Dutch midwifery practices, randomly assigned to 1 of 3 conditions, recruited 135 health counseling, 116 computer tailoring, and 142 usual care respondents from February to September 2011. Health-counseling respondents received counseling from their midwife according to a health-counseling protocol, which consisted of 7 steps addressed in 3 feedback sessions. Computer-tailoring respondents received usual care from their midwife and 3 computer-tailored feedback letters via the Internet. Usual care respondents received routine alcohol care from their midwife. After 3 and 6 months, we assessed the effect of the interventions on alcohol use. Results: Multilevel multiple logistic regression analyses showed that computer-tailoring respondents stopped using alcohol more often compared to usual care respondents 6 months after baseline (53/68, 78% vs 51/93, 55%; P=.04). Multilevel multiple linear regression analyses showed that computer-tailoring respondents (mean 0.35, SD 0.31 units per week) with average (P=.007) or lower (P
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere274
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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