Computer-based interventions for problematic alcohol use: a review of systematic reviews

Christopher Sundström, Matthijs Blankers, Zarnie Khadjesari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)
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PURPOSE: The aim of this review is to provide an overview of knowledge and knowledge gaps in the field of computer-based alcohol interventions by (1) collating evidence on the effectiveness of computer-based alcohol interventions in different populations and (2) exploring the impact of four specified moderators of effectiveness: therapeutic orientation, length of intervention, guidance and trial engagement. 

METHODS: A review of systematic reviews of randomized trials reporting on effectiveness of computer-based alcohol interventions published between 2005 and 2015. 

RESULTS: Fourteen reviews met the inclusion criteria. Across the included reviews, it was generally reported that computer-based alcohol interventions were effective in reducing alcohol consumption, with mostly small effect sizes. There were indications that longer, multisession interventions are more effective than shorter or single session interventions. Evidence on the association between therapeutic orientation of an intervention, guidance or trial engagement and reductions in alcohol consumption is limited, as the number of reviews addressing these themes is low. None of the included reviews addressed the association between therapeutic orientation, length of intervention or guidance and trial engagement. 

CONCLUSIONS: This review of systematic reviews highlights the mostly positive evidence supporting computer-based alcohol interventions as well as reveals a number of knowledge gaps that could guide future research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-658
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date18 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • E-health
  • Computer-based intervention
  • Internet intervention
  • Systematic review
  • Meta-analysis

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