A two-stage social network intervention for reducing alcohol and other drug use in residential colleges: Protocol for a feasibility trial

Lily Davidson, Rhiannon Ellem, Carol Keane, Gary Chan, Chiara Broccatelli, Jeff Buckley, Zoe Walter, Louise Hallo, Leanne Hides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background
In many countries, the rate of binge drinking and alcohol-related harms among students living in residential colleges exceeds that observed among young people in the general population. Peer influence plays a key role in driving alcohol and other drug (AOD) use in colleges. This highlights the potential role of peer influence AOD-interventions in college student-networks. This protocol paper outlines the design of a two-stage social network intervention (SNI) for reducing AOD-use in four Australian first-year residential college networks.

Methods
In Stage 1, a peer-led workshop will provide education about AOD-use and harm-minimisation strategies to four first-year cohorts in the first week of semester one (N ~ 500). In Stage 2, a targeted SNI will be delivered to the largest co-educational, first-year cohort (N ~ 160), wherein heavy drinking ‘Strategic Players’ (influential students) will be identified and offered a brief, telephone-delivered motivational interviewing intervention for AOD-use (QuikFix). Participants will complete online surveys at baseline and 12-, 26-, and 52-weeks follow-up.

Results
Recruitment occurred in February 2021 and is now closed. Results are expected to be submitted for publication in late 2022.

Conclusions
This protocol paper outlines the design of a feasibility trial exploring the impact of applied SNIs for reducing AOD-use and related consequences in residential college student networks. If effective, the two-stage SNI proposed could (i) reduce AOD-use and risk of harm across first-year student networks and (ii) provide an effective brief intervention (QuikFix) to high-risk drinkers who have greatest potential to spread the intervention effects to other risky drinkers in their network.

Trial registration
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12621000494831).
Original languageEnglish
Article number106779
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

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