Examining Emailed Feedback as Boosters After a College Drinking Intervention Among Fraternities and Sororities: Rationale and Protocol for a Remote Controlled Trial (Project Greek)
JMIR Research Protocols
BACKGROUND: College students involved in Greek life (ie, members of fraternities and sororities) tend to engage in more high-risk alcohol use and experience more negative consequences than those not involved in Greek life. Web-based alcohol interventions, such as Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO, have been successful in reducing alcohol use and consequences among the general college student population, but interventions targeting alcohol reduction among those involved in Greek life have had limited success. Booster emails including personalized feedback regarding descriptive norms and protective behavioral strategies have shown potential in increasing the effectiveness of web-based interventions among college drinkers. Studies are needed to determine the efficacy of these boosters among those involved in Greek life.
OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study is to assess the efficacy of booster emails sent to Greek life students who complete Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO. Specifically, we expect that participants who receive the booster emails will reduce their alcohol consumption and related problems (primary aim 1), reduce perceived peer drinking, and increase the number of protective behavioral strategies they use over time (primary aim 2) relative to those who do not receive boosters. Contingent upon finding the emailed booster efficacious and sufficient enrollment of members from each organization, an exploratory aim is to examine social mechanisms of change (ie, through selection vs socialization).
METHODS: This study is a remote, controlled intervention trial following participants for up to 6 months. Participants must be aged at least 18 years, undergraduate students, and members of a participating fraternity or sorority. Eligible participants complete a web-based baseline survey to assess their alcohol consumption behaviors and beliefs, including norms and protective behavioral strategies, and information about their social networks. After completing the baseline survey, they participate in the web-based intervention. Follow-up surveys are sent 1, 3, and 6 months after the intervention. Those in the booster condition also receive emails containing personalized feedback at 2 weeks and 14 weeks after the intervention. Latent growth models and R-Simulation Investigation for Empirical Network Analysis will be used to analyze the data.
RESULTS: As of September 2022, we have enrolled 18 participants from 2 fraternities and 2 sororities, and they have completed the baseline survey. Overall, 72% (13/18) of participants have completed the 1-month follow-up. Enrollment will continue through December 2022.
CONCLUSIONS: This study aims to examine the effectiveness of personalized feedback booster emails sent after an alcohol intervention among members of college Greek life. A secondary, exploratory aim is to provide information about social mechanisms of change (if possible). The current methodology targets whole network recruitment, with chapter presidents serving as gatekeepers and facilitators. Unique challenges of recruiting whole networks and working with campus administrators are discussed.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT05107284; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT05107284.
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/42535.
© Abby L Braitman, Jennifer L Shipley, Megan Strowger, Rachel Ayala Guzman, Alina Whiteside, Adrian J Bravo, Kate B Carey. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 28.10.2022.
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Article States: Data will be available from the principal investigator upon reasonable request.
Original Publication Citation
Braitman, A. L., Shipley, J. L., Strowger, M., Ayala Guzman, R., Whiteside, A., Bravo, A. J., & Carey, K. B. (2022). Examining emailed feedback as boosters after a college drinking intervention among fraternities and sororities: Rationale and protocol for a remote controlled trial (project Greek). JMIR Research Protocols, 11(10), 1-14, Article e42535. https://doi.org/10.2196/42535
0000-0003-2259-1094 (Braitman), 0000-0002-8476-5099 (Strowger), 0000-0001-6433-7313 (Guzman), 0000-0003-4741-6823 (Whiteside)
Braitman, Abby L.; Shipley, Jennifer L.; Strowger, Megan; Guzman, Rachel Ayala; Whiteside, Alina; Bravo, Adrian J.; and Carey, Kate B., "Examining Emailed Feedback as Boosters After a College Drinking Intervention Among Fraternities and Sororities: Rationale and Protocol for a Remote Controlled Trial (Project Greek)" (2022). Psychology Faculty Publications. 141.
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