PROVIDENCE – Kate Cary, a Brown University professor of behavioral and social sciences in the university’s public health program, is the lead author of a study review that has found that popular on-campus, computer-delivered alcohol interventions only are effective in the short term.
“There has been a real upsurge in popularity and widespread implementation of all these CDIs, and for a long time it seemed the research was lagging,” Carey said in a statement.
Carey and her co-authors, researchers from The Miriam Hospital and Syracuse University, conducted a review of 48 studies and found that computer interventions, which have become a popular counseling method because of their ability to reach more students than in-person interventions, are only significantly effective for 14 weeks. The review found that face-to-face interventions and counseling were more effective from the beginning and that their effectiveness decreased more slowly over time.
It also found that women are less likely to be helped by computer interventions than men.
“A computer-delivered intervention is better than nothing,” Carey said. “But the question is, would your resources allow you to offer something better if something better existed.”
The findings will be published in the December issue of Clinical Psychology Review.
The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. •