Electronic Alcohol Self-Help: More Effective than Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

The general ineffectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) indicates the need for more effective approaches to problem drinking (also called alcohol abuse, alcoholism, problem drinking, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking). Programs based on the AA or 12-step model have also proven to be generally ineffective.

Internet and other electronic-based self-help techniques (e-interventions) can potentially reach large numbers of problem drinkers. To evaluate the effectiveness of such programs, researchers examined nine randomized controlled trials of electronic (internet or CD-ROM) self-help interventions for adults.

Moderate reductions in alcohol consumption were found for participants who received e-interventions compared to those who did not.

Five of the nine studies involved single-session feedback and four involved more sessions. The single-session interventions were less effective than were multiple sessions.


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  • Riper, H, et al. Effectiveness of E-self-help interventions for curbing adult problem drinking: a meta-analysis. J Med Internet Res., 2011, 13(2), e42.

Filed Under: Abuse

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