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Brief Online Negative Affect Focused Functional Imagery Training Improves 2-Week Drinking Outcomes in Hazardous Student Drinkers: a Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial

Shuai, R., Bakou, A. E. ORCID: 0000-0002-4813-7212, Andrade, J. , Hides, L. & Hogarth, L. (2022). Brief Online Negative Affect Focused Functional Imagery Training Improves 2-Week Drinking Outcomes in Hazardous Student Drinkers: a Pilot Randomised Controlled Trial. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 29(3), pp. 346-356. doi: 10.1007/s12529-021-10019-9


Negative affect plays an important role in motivating problematic alcohol use. Consequently, training imagery-based adaptive responses to negative affect could reduce problematic alcohol use. The current study tested whether personalised online functional imagery training (FIT) to utilise positive mental imagery in response to negative affect would improve drinking outcomes in hazardous negative affect drinking students.

Participants were 52 hazardous student drinkers who drink to cope with negative affect. Participants in the active group (n = 24) were trained online over 2 weeks to respond to personalised negative drinking triggers by retrieving a personalised adaptive strategy they might use to mitigate negative affect, whereas participants in the control group (n = 28) received standard risk information about binge drinking at university. Measures of daily drinking quantity, drinking motives, self-efficacy and use of protective behavioural strategies were obtained at baseline and 2 weeks follow-up.

There were three significant interactions between group and time in a per-protocol analysis: the active intervention group showed increased self-efficacy of control over negative affect drinking and control over alcohol consumption and decreased social drinking motives from baseline to 2-week follow-up, relative to the control intervention group. There were no effects on drinking frequency.

These findings provide initial evidence that online training to respond to negative affect drinking triggers by retrieving mental imagery of adaptive strategies can improve drinking-related outcomes in hazardous, student, negative affect drinkers. The findings support the utility of FIT interventions for substance use.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http:// creat iveco mmons. org/ licen ses/ by/4. 0/.
Publisher Keywords: Pilot randomised controlled trial, Emotion regulation, Guided imagery, Negative affect drinking
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
SWORD Depositor:
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