College drinking remains a serious public health concern, with college students more likely to drink frequently, drink heavily, and meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder than their non-college peers. Around 9% of full-time, US college students ages 18 to 22 suffer from alcohol use disorder (AUD), which is defined as an impaired ability to stop or limit alcohol use despite adverse consequences. Risky college drinking is associated with substantial negative consequences, including academic and cognitive impairment, assault, injury, and death. Thus, interventions are needed to address risky college drinking.
Music-based interventions have been found to be effective in enhancing attention control and emotion regulation of people with substance use disorders. However, the efficacy of mobile phone-based, music-based interventions in addressing alcohol or substance use disorders, and the mechanisms through which music may improve cognitive function are not fully understood.
The current proposal explores a culturally relevant, theory-based approach to understanding the perspectives of college students with alcohol use disorder, and understanding the mechanisms through which music delivered via mobile phones affects alcohol phenotypes. The current study will also assess the preliminary feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of mobile phone-based music interventions for tackling alcohol use disorder. It uses key informant interviews to seek perspectives of college students in creating the intervention, and a pilot randomized controlled trial to test the feasibility, acceptability, and effectiveness of music-based interventions for tackling alcohol use disorder.
This project is significant and innovative because it identifies mechanisms through which music delivered via mobile phones affect the brain, and also develops novel, theory-driven mobile phone-based interventions to address AUD. This study will have an important public health impact by developing efficient mHealth music interventions that can be widely disseminated in the United States to address AUD.