Web-based interventions to decrease alcohol use in adolescents: a Delphi study about increasing effectiveness and reducing drop-out

A. Jander*, R. Crutzen, L. Mercken, H. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Web-based computer-tailored (CT) interventions have a high potential to reach a large number of people and effectively change health risk behaviors and their determinants. However, effect studies show small and variable effect sizes, and these interventions also suffer from high drop-out. In this study we explored how Web-based CT interventions can be used effectively to reduce binge drinking in 16- to 18-year-old adolescents. Method: A three-round Delphi study was conducted. We invited experts to identify strategies to be used in Web-based CT interventions that can effectively decrease binge drinking in adolescents and to rate these strategies by importance. We asked to discriminate between interventions targeted for adolescents and those targeted for parents. Furthermore, we asked experts to suggest strategies for reducing drop-out and to indicate their importance. Results: Important strategies mentioned by the experts were: encouraging parents to set appropriate rules, encouraging consistent communication, and training refusal skills among adolescents. Concerning the reduction of drop-out from Web-based CT interventions experts came up with suggestions involving the content of the intervention (e.g., relevant material, use of language, tailored messages) but also involving the use of reminders and incentives. Conclusions: The results of this explorative study provide useful strategies to increase effectiveness and decrease drop-out in future interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number340
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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