Skills training, alcohol focus: Decisional balance exercise alonea
Decisional balance exercises involve weighing the pros and cons of behavior change versus maintenance of the status quo without any other intervention.
Effectiveness: = Moderate effectiveness
Cost: $ = Lower
Barriers: # = Lower
Research Amount: ** = 4 to 6 studies
Public Health Reach: Focused
Primary Modality: Online/offsite
Staffing Expertise Needed: Coordinator
Target Population: Individuals
Duration of Effects: Short-term (< 6 months) effects; mixed long-term (≥ 6 months) effects
a = New intervention (2019)
Although this approach is a component of larger, effective programs such as BASICS and ASTP, it is rated here as a stand-alone intervention.
Effectiveness ratings are based on the percentage of studies reporting any positive outcomes. Strategies with three or fewer studies did not receive an effectiveness rating due to the limited data on which to base a conclusion. Cost ratings are based on the relative program and staff costs for adoption, implementation, and maintenance of a strategy. Actual costs will vary by institution, depending on size, existing programs, and other campus and community factors. Barriers to implementing a strategy include cost and opposition, among other factors. Public health reach refers to the number of students that a strategy affects. Strategies with a broad reach affect all students or a large group of students (e.g., all underage students); strategies with a focused reach affect individuals or small groups of students (e.g., sanctioned students). Research amount/quality refers to the number of randomized controlled trials (RCT) that evaluated the strategy. Duration of effects refers to the timeframe within which the intervention demonstrated effects on alcohol-related behavioral outcomes; follow-up periods for short-term effects were <6 months; follow-up periods for long-term effects were ≥6 months.
Larimer, M.E.; and Cronce, J.M. Identification, prevention, and treatment revisited: Individual-focused college drinking prevention strategies 1999–2006. Addictive Behaviors 32:2439–68, 2007.
- Collins, S.E.; and Carey, K.B. Lack of effect for decisional balance as a brief motivational intervention for at-risk college drinkers. Addictive Behaviors 30(7):1425–30, 2005.
- Labrie, J.W. Weighing the pros and cons: A brief motivational intervention reduces risk associated with drinking and unsafe sex. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Los Angeles, CA: University of Southern California, 2002.
References from 2019 update
- Collins, S.E.; Kirouac, M.; Lewis, M.A.; et al. Randomized controlled trial of web-based decisional balance feedback and personalized normative feedback for college drinkers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 75(6):982–992, 2014.
For more information about intervention designs and implementation, check the articles in the References tab.