An Evaluation of e-CHECKUP TO GO in Canada: The Mediating Role of Changes in Social Norm Misperceptions – 2018

Background: Alcohol use and related problems are key concerns among colleges, and web-based interventions to mitigate these issues are increasingly popular across campuses. A variety of programs are commercially available and have demonstrated efficacy in reducing alcohol use and consequences; however, little is known about how these programs reduce alcohol outcomes.

Objectives: The e-CHECKUP TO GO program (e-CHUG) is the briefest electronic intervention available and over 600 institutions are using it internationally. The present study evaluates the impact of the e-CHUG program on drinking outcomes and examines changes in perceived norms as a potential mediator of intervention efficacy in a sample of first-year Canadian university residence students. This is the first Canadian evaluation of e-CHUG.

Methods: First year Canadian university students (N = 245) living in residence in August 2014 participated in a randomized control trial to evaluate the efficacy of e-CHUG program compared to an assessment-only control condition. Follow-up assessments were completed at 3-months and 5-months. Norm misperceptions and drinking outcomes were measured.

Results: At 3-month and 5-month follow-up assessments program participants had lower norm misperceptions about peers drinking compared to control participants. Changes in norm misperceptions at 3-months mediated the effect of the program on drinking outcomes at 5-months. There were no sex differences in the associations.

Conclusions/Importance: Findings suggest that e-CHECKUP TO GO may be a promising strategy for addressing norm misperceptions and subsequently drinking for Canadian students.

Kara Thompson, Judy Burgess & Parnell Davis MacNevin
Substance Use & Misuse, 27 Feb 2018