Web-Based Alcohol Intervention: Study of Systematic Attrition of Heavy Drinkers

Radtke, Theda, Ostergaard, Mathias, Cooke, Richard ORCID: 0000-0003-0476-6284 and Scholz, Urte
(2017) Web-Based Alcohol Intervention: Study of Systematic Attrition of Heavy Drinkers. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH, 19 (6). e217-.

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Background: Web-based alcohol interventions are a promising way to reduce alcohol consumption because of their anonymity and the possibility of reaching a high numbers of individuals including heavy drinkers. However, Web-based interventions are often characterized by high rates of attrition. To date, very few studies have investigated whether individuals with higher alcohol consumption show higher attrition rates in Web-based alcohol interventions as compared with individuals with lower alcohol consumption. Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine the attrition rate and predictors of attrition in a Web-based intervention study on alcohol consumption. Methods: The analysis of the predictors of attrition rate was performed on data collected in a Web-based randomized control trial. Data collection took place at the University of Konstanz, Germany. A total of 898 people, which consisted of 46.8% males (420/898) and 53.2% females (478/898) with a mean age of 23.57 years (SD 5.19), initially volunteered to participate in a Web-based intervention study to reduce alcohol consumption. Out of the sample, 86.9% (781/898) were students. Participants were classified as non-completers (439/898, 48.9%) if they did not complete the Web-based intervention. Potential predictors of attrition were self-reported: alcohol consumption in the last seven days, per week, from Monday to Thursday, on weekends, excessive drinking behavior measured with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), and drinking motives measured by the Drinking Motive Questionnaire (DMQ-R SF). Results: Significant differences between completers and non-completers emerged regarding alcohol consumption in the last seven days (B=−.02, P=.05, 95% CI [0.97-1.00]), on weekends (B=−.05, P=.003, 95% CI [0.92-0.98]), the AUDIT (B=−.06, P=.007, 95% CI [0.90-0.98], and the status as a student (B=.72, P=.001, 95% CI [1.35-3.11]). Most importantly, non-completers had a significantly higher alcohol consumption compared with completers. Conclusions: Hazardous alcohol consumption appears to be a key factor of the dropout rate in a Web-based alcohol intervention study. Thus, it is important to develop strategies to keep participants who are at high risk in Web-based interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: attrition, dropout, alcohol drinking, intervention study, Internet, surveys and questionnaires, university student drinking, motivation
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 29 May 2018 14:03
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 01:33
DOI: 10.2196/jmir.6780
Open Access URL: http://www.jmir.org/2017/6/e217/
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3021874