SM BASICS: Development and testing of a social media enhanced intervention

  • Lewis, Melissa (CoPI)
  • Lewis, Melissa (CoPI)

Project Details


ABSTRACT Alcohol-related harm among young adults remains a major public health problem associated with both morbidity and mortality. As most young adults attend college, this environment remains a critical setting for prevention and intervention research. Alcohol research studies focused on community college (CC) students remain rare, and these colleges often face scarce resources to prevent, identify and intervene with problem alcohol use. Thus, online interventions may be a valuable approach for community college campuses. Online interventions such as Web-based Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (Web- BASICS) have successfully reduced problem alcohol use and associated negative consequences among university students. Given that social media use is nearly ubiquitous in the young adult population, social media may provide novel opportunities to engage with CC students, identify those at risk using displayed social media alcohol references, and provide links to online interventions. Our long-term goal is to use social media to identify problem alcohol use among CC students and provide feasible, scalable and targeted interventions. The objectives of this application are to first adapt and refine Web-BASICS for use among CC students and paired with social media, and second to conduct a pilot randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility and acceptability of using social media to identify at-risk CC students and provide a validated online intervention: Social Media (SM) BASICS. In this two-phase study, Phase 1 will involve focus groups with 30 CC students towards refinement of Web-BASICS to SM-BASICS. In Phase 2 we will recruit 200 CC students from two campuses. Consented participants will be ?friended? on Facebook, as an exploratory evaluation participants who also use Instagram will be ?followed? on this site. Participants? social media profiles will be evaluated monthly throughout one year for new alcohol or problem drinking displays, or escalated displays (participants who previously displayed alcohol references then display problem drinking references). Participants who display new or escalated alcohol references will be randomized into intervention (I) or active control (AC) groups. Participants will then be contacted to complete SM-BASICS or active control within 48 hours of identifying the social media alcohol display, then at 1 and 6 month follow-ups. Pilot intervention outcomes will assess 1) proportion of participants with timely SM-BASICS (I) or active control (AC) assessments after social media alcohol display, 2) acceptability of linking social media alcohol displays to SM-BASICS, and 3) early efficacy and effect sizes towards planning a future large randomized controlled trial. Given the ongoing popularity and ubiquity of social media among the young adult population, this innovative tool has potential to improve community colleges? capacity to provide timely and targeted interventions. Parents, administrators and other adults, who also use social media such as Facebook, may have opportunities to use this tool towards future intervention efforts.
Effective start/end date30/09/1631/08/20


  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism


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