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Randomized Trial of an Innovative Electronic Screening and Brief Intervention for Reducing Drinking Among Women of Childbearing Age

Nayak, Madhabika B. PhD; Kaskutas, Lee A. DrPH; Mericle, Amy A. PhD

doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000518
Original Research: PDF Only

Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of an innovative, self-administered, electronic Screening and Brief Intervention (e-SBI) in English and Spanish, “DrinkWise,” for reducing drinking among nonpregnant women of childbearing age.

Methods: A parallel design, phase 1 trial included 185 nonpregnant women reporting risky drinking (8 or more drinks in a week or 3 or more drinks in a day) who were recruited from 2 publicly funded Nutritional Assistance for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program sites in the United States from 2016 to 2017. Participants were 18 to 44 years in age, 75% of Hispanic ethnicity, 44% Spanish speakers, 30% had not completed high school, and 15% were currently breastfeeding. Participants were randomized to receive (intervention condition, n = 99) or not receive (control condition, no intervention, n = 86) DrinkWise and followed at 3 and 6 months.

Results: Women receiving DrinkWise had greater reductions in the odds of self-reported weekly alcohol use (odds ratio [OR] = 0.22, SE = 0.12, P < 0.01) and heavy alcohol use (OR = 0.23, SE = 0.14, P < 0.05) at 6-month follow-up than controls, with no group differences at 3-month follow-up. Compared with heavy drinking controls, heavy drinkers receiving DrinkWise showed a trend (P = 0.06) for greater reductions in drink (pour) size from 3- to 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions: DrinkWise may be efficacious in reducing drinking among low-income women of childbearing age and provides a low-cost tool for increasing access to recommended SBI among childbearing-age women. Studies should continue to build DrinkWise's evidence base.

Trial registration: :,

Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA.

Send correspondence to Madhabika B. Nayak, PhD, Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6001 Shellmound Street, Suite 450, Emeryville, CA 94608. E-mail:

Received 21 September, 2018

Accepted 4 February, 2019

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citation appears in the printed text and is provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

Author contributions: MBN and LAK conceived and designed the study and obtained funding. MBN, LAK, and AAM each contributed to the carrying out of the study, analysis and interpretation of study data, and drafting and revising of the manuscript. All authors have provided approval for the submission.

Funded by the National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health and the Office Of the Director, National Institutes Of Health under Award Number R34AA022697 to Madhabika B. Nayak. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”

Details of ethics approval: This study was approved by the California Health and Human Services Agency Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects (CPHS, primary IRB, reference #: 15-04-1970) and the Public Health Institute's Institutional Review Board (PHI-IRB, secondary IRB, reference #: I15-002) on July 27, 2015 and March 12, 2015 respectively.

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of financial, personal, political, intellectual, or religious interests.

© 2019 American Society of Addiction Medicine