Outcomes of a feasibility trial of a resilience-based alcohol education intervention

  • R. de Visser
  • R. Graber
  • A. Hart
  • C. Abraham
  • A. Memon


BACKGROUND: Although many campaigns advise young people to drink responsibly, few clarify how to convert this advice into specific behavioural strategies. Resilience-based approaches argue that treating young non-drinkers and moderate drinkers as “experts” in responsible alcohol use may facilitate co-creation of acceptable interventions that focus on how to change behaviour. METHODS: Based on past research, we developed videos in which young people discussed their alcohol refusal strategies and produced a 2-lesson package of related activities. A feasibility trial was conducted in South-East England. 103 students in two intervention schools (who received the new lessons in addition to standard alcohol education) were compared to 174 students in two control schools (who received standard alcohol education). Data were collected pre-programme and at 3-month follow-up. Interviews were also conducted with students and teachers in intervention schools. FINDINGS: Interviews revealed that students and teachers were positive about the novel content of the package. Analyses adjusted for corresponding baseline measures indicated that the intervention was no more effective than standard alcohol education at reducing frequency of drinking, frequency of drunkenness, or reported importance of alcohol for socialising. There were also no intervention effects for DRSE or for the use of various drinking control strategies. Paradoxically, students in the intervention schools reported stronger intentions to drink in the next 3 months. DISCUSSION: A 2-lesson resilience-focused add-on to standard alcohol education was no more effective than standard education at reducing students’ actual or intended alcohol use. It was, however, received very favourably by teachers and students.
Poster presentations