Efficacy of interventions targeting alcohol, drug and smoking behaviors in university and college students: A review of randomized controlled trials

Ronald C. Plotnikoff, Sarah A. Costigan, Sarah G. Kennedy, Sara L. Robards, John Germov, Cameron Wild

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of interventions targeting alcohol consumption, drug use and smoking for college/university students.Participants: College/University students.Methods: Studies were eligible if: (1)included students attending universities/colleges; (2)implemented in a university/college setting; (3)aimed to improve at least one of the following behaviors: alcohol and/or drug use and/or smoking; (4)were RCTs. The effect of the interventions on behaviors was determined by the percentage of studies that reported an effect. Due to the heterogeneity of outcomes meta-analysis was not conducted.Results: 88 studies met criteria. University-based interventions were effective for reducing alcohol-related outcomes (drinking patterns, BAC, consequences, problem drinking). Inconsistent findings for drug and smoking were observed.Conclusions: University-based interventions have the potential to improve health for students. While there is a breadth of research examining the efficacy of interventions to reduce alcohol consumption, further research is needed to determine the best approach for addressing smoking and drug use among students.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-84
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of American College Health
    Volume67
    Issue number1
    Early online date31 May 2018
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

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