Examining the role of a brief online alcohol use risk feedback on accessing information about available treatment resources for alcohol issues

Antover P. Tuliao, Natira D. Mullet, Lindsey G. Hawkins, Derek Holyoak, Marisa Weerts, Travis Gudenrath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research suggests college-aged young adults are hesitant to seek treatment for alcohol use disorder and highlights barriers contributing to a gap in treatment utilization. One barrier to treatment utilization is the lack of information about available treatment resources. Motivated by the literature on web-based screening and brief interventions (eSBIs), the current study examined whether providing a brief online feedback of one's alcohol use risk severity will make college students more likely to access information about available treatment options for alcohol-related issues. College students (N = 724) who responded to the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (Babor, Higgins-Biddle, Saunders, & Monteiro, 2001) were randomly assigned to receive a brief online feedback on their alcohol use risk or to a no-feedback condition. Overall, only 20% of all participants opted to view available treatment services for alcohol issues. Participants in the feedback group (15%) were significantly less likely to view information for available services compared to the no-feedback group (24%). A significant feedback condition x stigma interaction effect was found, such that those with average and high stigma towards substance use scores were less likely to view treatment information when provided feedback. Without a thorough discussion of individual risks and without the safeguards against psychological reactance present in eSBIs, providing college students with brief online feedback about their alcohol use risk severity made them less likely to access information concerning available on-campus mental health resources for alcohol issues. On the other hand, improving help-seeking attitudes could help increase treatment utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
StatePublished - Sep 2019



  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Brief online screener
  • College students
  • Help-seeking behavior
  • Treatment utilization

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