Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO targets perceived social norms and acceptance of marijuana use to prevent and reduce marijuana use in university students.
Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO, also called e-TOKE, is a screening and brief intervention delivered over one 20-minute session. Users complete an assessment of their marijuana use and other substance use, pros and cons of using marijuana, money spent on substances, and perceived norms of marijuana use. The program provides feedback comparing users’ perceived norms of use, actual usage statistics, and users’ own use. The program provides additional feedback about money spent on substances, examples of other uses for that money, information about campus resources, and strategies to reduce use.
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Young Adults (18-30)
Correcting exaggerated marijuana use norms among college abstainers: A preliminary test of a preventative intervention.
Summary: Researchers recruited 245 students who had not used marijuana in the past 30 days from university psychology courses to participate in a randomized controlled study to evaluate Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO. Half of participants had used marijuana before. Participants were randomized to receive Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO or to a control group that only completed assessments. Both groups completed assessments at baseline and one month after baseline to measure marijuana use in the past month, perceptions of peer marijuana use (descriptive norms), and perceptions of peer approval of not using marijuana (injunctive norms). At follow-up, participants in the intervention group reported descriptive norms that were higher than reality, but lower than the control group. Participants in the intervention group reported that significantly fewer of their friends would disapprove of their abstention from marijuana than participants in the control group. Marijuana use in the intervention group was not significantly different from the control group.
Take Away: Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO resulted in lower perceptions of peer marijuana use and of disapproval of abstention from marijuana than the control group, but did not result in differences in marijuana use.
Summary: Researchers recruited 317 university students from psychology classes and assigned them to receive Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO or to an assessment-only control. Each condition was also divided into a brief assessment (baseline assessments of demographics and social desirability) group or to a full assessment condition (baseline assessments of demographics, social desirability, past-month marijuana use, marijuana abuse or dependence, descriptive norm, and injunctive norms). The intervention group also completed assessments of intervention satisfaction at follow-up. Participants completed 1-month follow-up assessments of past-month marijuana use, marijuana abuse or dependence symptoms, descriptive norms and injunctive norms. The intervention group had lower descriptive norms than the control group at follow-up. There were no differences between marijuana use, abuse, dependence, and problems between the intervention and control groups. Participants in the intervention group reported the intervention was easy to use and that it was useful that the intervention was delivered over the internet.
Take Away: Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO yielded more accurate perceptions of peer marijuana use, but did not reduce marijuana use or behavior.
Web-based screening and brief intervention for student marijuana use in a university health center: Pilot study to examine the implementation of eCHECKUP TO GO in different contexts.
Summary: Researchers compared Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO to an assessment only control group in student health care settings (on-site) or outside of health care settings (off-site). Researchers recruited 123 students who reported using marijuana at least monthly over the last 90 days and randomized them by intervention group and location of intervention and assessment administration (e.g., on-site versus off-site). Participants completed assessments of marijuana use, dependence to marijuana, marijuana-related consequences, readiness to change, and perceived marijuana norms at baseline, and 3- and 6-month post intervention follow-up. Participants who received the intervention also completed assessments of intervention acceptability at 6 months. Participants in the intervention group reported lower perceptions of peer marijuana use than the control group at 3 months, which was maintained at 6 months. There were no significant changes in readiness-to-change from baseline to 3 or 6 months. There were no significant effects of the intervention on marijuana use at 6 months, nor in marijuana-related consequences over time. Most participants in the intervention group reported that the intervention was at least moderately acceptable.
Take Away: Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO does not affect marijuana use or readiness to change marijuana use in college students, but can affect perceptions of peer marijuana use.
Readiness-to-change as a moderator of a web-based brief intervention for marijuana among students identified by health center screening.
Summary: Researchers examined the moderating effect of readiness to change at baseline on Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO’s effect on college students’ frequency of marijuana use. Researchers examined responses to the Problem Recognition and Action subscales of the readiness to change questionnaire at baseline and frequency of past 30-day marijuana use at the 3-month follow-up assessment. There was no interaction between Problem Recognition and intervention effect. There was a significant interaction between Action and intervention effect such that high Action scores resulted in less frequent marijuana use at 3 months for the intervention group relative to the control group.
Take Away: Marijuana eCHECKUP TO GO may help college students who are taking action to reduce their marijuana use.