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Table 2 Summary of Included Studies

From: A systematic review of the effectiveness of digital interventions for illicit substance misuse harm reduction in third-level students

Author Study Type Sample Size Outcome Measures Intervention Type Delivery Population Critical Appraisal Score Overall Result
Lee et al. 2010 [51] RCT 341 Marijuana use and consequences of use. Also evaluated contemplation to change and family history of drug problems as potential mediators of efficacy Personalised feedback and descriptive norm correction Online Students reporting any use of Marijuana in past 3-months Moderate No overall effect on use or consequences. Significant reduction in use in students higher in contemplation.
Elliott & Carey 2012 [50] CCT 245 Descriptive norms, injunctive norms, marijuana use/initiation “eTOKE” personalised feedback and descriptive norm correction Online Students reporting no marijuana use in past 30 days Weak No significant effect on marijuana initiation, but less exaggerated norms.
Elliott et al. 2014 [53] CCT 317 Marijuana use, problems, user disorder symptoms, and descriptive norms “eTOKE” personalised feedback and descriptive norm correction Online Students reporting past-month marijuana use Weak Minimal to small effect for user frequency, problems, disorder symptoms and medium changes for all descriptive norms.
Epton et al. 2014 [54] RCT 1445 Fruit/veg intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, health status, recreational drug use, BMI, health service usage, academic performance, social cognitive variables. “U@Uni” Self-affirmation manipulation, theory based messages, implementation intention tasks Online All incoming undergraduate students Weak Increase in recreational drug use in intervention arm
Palfai et al. 2014 [55] CCT 123 Frequency of marijuana use, marijuana related consequences, readiness to change, perceived norms. “Marijuana eCHECK UP TO GO” personalised feedback and descriptive norm correction Online in Student Health Service and off-site Students attending Student Health Service reporting at least monthly Marijuana use Moderate No effect on marijuana use. Medium effect on negative consequences. Significantly reduced student estimates of peer marijuana use.
Cameron et al. 2015 [56] RCT 2621 Fruit/veg intake, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, health status, recreational drug use, BMI, health service usage, social cognitive variables. “U@Uni:LifeGuide” Self-affirmation manipulation, theory based messages, implementation intention tasks Online All incoming undergraduate students Weak Non-significant effect on recreational drug use
Christoff & Boerngen-Lacerda 2015 [57] CCT 458 ASSIST score (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine-stimulants, inhalants, sedatives, hallucinogens, opioids) “ASSIST/MBI” ASSIST screening and Motivational Brief Intervention Online on-site Students with moderate/high ASSIST scores Weak Small positive effect, reduction in ASSIST score for marijuana.
Haug et al. 2017 [58] Pre-Post 1067 Perceived stress, self-management and coping behaviours, interpersonal skills, at risk alcohol use, tobacco smoking, and cannabis use. “Ready4life” – personalised feedback and weekly messages based on social cognitive theory Online on-site plus off-site text messages All students with a mobile phone Weak No significant pre-post differences in the percentage of persons using cannabis.