A Web-based computer-tailored game to reduce binge drinking among 16 to 18 year old Dutch adolescents: development and study protocol.

Astrid Jander*, Rik Crutzen, Liesbeth Mercken, Hein de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Web of Science)


In the Netherlands, excessive alcohol use (e.g., binge drinking) is prevalent among adolescents. Alcohol use in general and binge drinking in particular comes with various immediate and long term health risks. Thus, reducing binge drinking among this target group is very important. This article describes a two-arm Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial (CRCT) of an intervention aimed at reducing binge drinking in this target group.

The intervention is a Web-based, computer-tailored game in which adolescents receive personalized feedback on their drinking behavior aimed at changing motivational determinants related to this behavior. The development of the game is grounded in the I-Change Model. A CRTC is conducted to test the effectiveness of the game. Adolescents are recruited through schools, and schools are randomized into the experimental condition and the control condition. The experimental condition fills in a baseline questionnaire assessing demographic variables, motivational determinants of behavior (attitude, social influences, self-efficacy, intention) and alcohol use. They are also asked to invite their parents to take part in a short parental component that focusses on setting rules and communicating about alcohol. After completing the baseline questionnaire, the experimental condition continues playing the first of three game scenarios. The primary follow-up measurement takes place after four months and a second follow-up after eight months. The control condition only fills in the baseline, four and eight month follow-up measurement and then receives access to the game (i.e., a waiting list control condition). The effectiveness of the intervention to reduce binge drinking in the previous 30 days and alcohol use in the last week will be assessed. Furthermore, intention to drink and binge drink are assessed. Besides main effects, potential subgroup differences pertaining to gender, age, and educational background are explored.

The study described in this article gives insight into the effectiveness of a possible solution for a prominent public health issue in the Netherlands, which is binge drinking among 16 to 18 year old adolescents.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1054
JournalBMC Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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