Through a randomised trial via Drinkaware’s website visitors were shown appearance or health framed messages directing them towards an alcohol harm screening tool (AUDIT-C). Users completing this questionnaire were given feedback on their risk level and offered further information and resources to cut down their drinking.
The study found that physical appearance framed messages increased the likelihood of engagement with an online alcohol screening and brief intervention tool, whereas health framed messages increased the likelihood of accessing further resources.
- The appearance framed message led to a small but significant increase in the number of users completing the screening tool compared to the health framed message (6.86% versus 6.37%).
- Having received risk feedback, users exposed to health framed information were more likely to access further resources (2.17% versus 1.83%).
Implications for the work of Drinkaware
The study highlights that different messages may work more effectively to engage different target groups, but also that a message that works well for immediate engagement may not be the best to motivate further involvement. Hence, there is a role for the use of multi-level approaches in alcohol reduction interventions, and tailoring these based on the different audiences’ motivations and interests is likely to improve their effectiveness.