Personalized Feedback Interventions for Individuals with Substance-Related Problems
Although there is a substantial evidence base on these interventions, numerous questions remain about for whom and under what circumstances personalized feedback interventions work best. First, there are issues of whether or not individuals will perceive the objective feedback as credible, because individuals with heavy substance use often associate with other individuals who use at similar levels. Additionally, there is very limited empirical on whether normative feedback is useful with adolescents (Barnett et al., 2012), as the effects have never been disentangled from larger bundles of services. Finally, more work is needed on what mechanisms of change account for feedback interventions’ effects. This symposium includes reports from two outcome evaluations and one observational study. Studies address the following specific research questions highly relevant to improving personalized feedback treatments, including:
- Whether fraternity and sorority members perceive feedback as credible, and whether peer-delivered feedback intervention reduces their drinking,
- Whether adolescents have higher readiness to change, lower substance use, and better treatment engagement when randomized to Motivational Interviewing (MI) plus feedback versus MI only, and
- Whether the effects of feedback operate through increasing discrepancy between personal use and social norms or rather by capitalizing on existing concerns about personal use.
Results from these studies expand our limited knowledge on these topics, and will assist us in refining current personalized treatments.