4. Boozebuster: A Mobile Intervention to Promote Low-Risk Drinking Habits in Young Adults –preliminary results
Young adults’ (18+) drinking habits commonly exceed low-risk drinking recommendations, potentially negatively affecting their mental, social, and physical health. As smartphones are highly accessible, mobile apps could be used to curb risky drinking habits among young adults. The study’s objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of Boozebuster, a self-guided mobile app including several behavioral change techniques such as PNF, MI and CBT on drinking behavior among young adults.
In a two-arm, parallel-group RCT, 503 young adults (aged 18-30 years) were randomized to 6 weeks of self-guided use of Boozebuster or to an educational website about alcohol use and its consequences. Primary outcomes (quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption) and secondary outcomes (binge drinking frequency, alcohol-related problem severity, cannabis use, and questionnaires on mental health and well-being) were assessed at baseline (T0), 6-week postbaseline (T1) and 3-month follow-up (T2). Data was analyzed using linear mixed models, using the ITT principle.
All participants were included within four months, of which 355 (70.8%) completed T1 and 356 (68.8%) completed T2. Both groups showed medium to high within-group effect sizes for drinkingrelated measures. However, there were no significant between-group differences. Similar results were obtained in sub-group analyses including drinkers only (n=494, 98.2%), or heavy drinkers only (14 or 21 standard units per week for women or men, respectively; n=412, 81.7%).
The Boozebuster app did not result in decreased alcohol consumption compared to the educational website, but both groups decreased their alcohol consumption significantly. Based on the recruitment rate there appears to be an interest in lifestyle-based interventions for addressing alcohol consumption. Future research interventions could be benefit from identifying effective (treatment) components to increase the effectiveness of such a self-guided, healthy lifestyle-based app.
Disclosure of interest: This study was funded by the European Foundation for Alcohol Research (ERAB) (grant: EA172).