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ORIGINAL RESEARCH REPORT
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-62

Mitigating the risk of alcohol use among university students: Examining the feasibility and effects of screening and brief intervention - A quasi-experimental study


1 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos; Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria; Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, Australia; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University/St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, ON, Canada
3 Department of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Psychiatry, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adebayo Rasheed Erinfolami
Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcls.jcls_50_20

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Background: The rising prevalence of alcohol use among youths in low resource settings is a major public health issue of concern, especially as alcohol use remains a leading contributor to deaths and disability globally. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of screening and brief intervention (SBI) on alcohol use risk among university students. Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, a total of 636 students were screened for alcohol use risk with the World Health Organization Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (WHO-ASSIST) version 3.1. All participants with moderate and high risk of alcohol use were administered brief intervention (BI) delivered by trained students at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months, with a final assessment in 6 months. Longitudinal data on their alcohol use risk were analyzed. Results: The mean age (standard deviation) of the participants was 21.13 (3.05) years and 44.5% were female. The prevalence of the current alcohol use based on the WHO-ASSIST was 49.2% (n = 315). Following three sessions of BI, the repeated measures ANOVA indicated that the WHO-ASSIST mean score for high-risk alcohol users (n = 44) fell from 33.23 (3.82) at baseline to 18.3 (9.84) at 6th month. This difference was statistically significant. Similarly, the mean score for moderate alcohol users fell from 19.62 (2.97) at baseline to 11.31 (5.52) at 6 months. The difference was statistically significant. There were significant group-level differences in the risk score over the study period, for the low risk, moderate risk, and high-risk users at the end of the study. Conclusion: Screening and BI showed significant benefits on alcohol use risk. Our findings suggest SBI as a feasible and effective intervention for mitigating the risk of alcohol use among young students in resource-restricted settings. Further research using a robust sample to reflect differences in setting and student characteristics is warranted.


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