Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Web-Based Screening and Brief Intervention (e-SBI) for Hazardous Drinking



Implementer: The Student Health Service at the University of Otago, New Zealand

Partners: The Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand, the Health Research Council of New Zealand

Program Overview: This program aimed to determine the effectiveness of web-based screening and a subsequent brief intervention regarding alcohol consumption. 

Program Design: The program consists of a short web-based screen including the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) questionnaire and a subsequent brief intervention. The screening requires students to answer questions on their consumption patterns in order to determine if their behavior was hazardous, while the brief intervention provides students with feedback and advice generated from the web program regarding how to reduce their hazardous behavior. Feedback consists of their risk status, comparison of their consumption with recommended upper limits, and an estimate of their blood alcohol concentration for their heaviest drinking occasion in the past month, comparison of their consumption with that of national and university norms, and correction of norm misperceptions

Evaluation: The program was assessed in a randomized, controlled trial involving a total of 104 students, aged 17-26, recruited from the Student Health Service at the University of Otago. Students completed a 3-minute web-based screen including the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) questionnaire and subsequently consented to a brief intervention. Students were invited by email to complete a 6-week follow-up survey querying their consumption patterns in the weeks following the intervention. The survey instrument measured:

  • Frequency of consumption
  • Quantity of consumption
  • Frequency of heavy episodic drinking
  • Personal, social, sexual, and legal consequences of episodic heavy drinking
  • Consequences related to academic performance

Key findings: Program evaluation results showed that at 6 weeks post intervention, students reported lower total consumption, lower heavy episodic drinking frequency, and fewer personal problems. 



1. Kypri, K., Saunders, J. B., Williams, S. M., McGee, R. O., Langley, J. D., Cashell-Smith, M. L., & Gallagher, S. J. (2004). Web-based screening and brief intervention for hazardous drinking: A Double-blind randomized controlled trialAddiction99(11), 1410-1417.

Target Audience: Adults of legal drinking age, University/young adults (18-21 years)
Issues: Harmful Drinking Behaviors, Underage Drinking
Setting: Online/ Internet, University
Approach: Screening and Brief Intervention
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