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Journal Article


Andraka-Christou B, Alex B, Lyneé Madeira J. Subst. Use Misuse 2019; ePub(ePub): ePub.


Maurer School of Law , Indiana University , Bloomington , IN , USA.


(Copyright © 2019, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)






BACKGROUND: College student preferences regarding substance use disorder (SUD) education and treatment-related education have been understudied, despite this population's relatively high risk of developing SUDs and low help-seeking rates. We sought to identify students' preferences regarding content, style, and format of educational online videos about SUDs and SUD treatment.

METHOD: We held six, two-hour long focus groups with college student participants from Indiana University from 2017 to 2018 during which participants were shown drafts of scripts, mock-up images, and animation and then asked open-ended questions about their preferences and suggested changes. Focus groups were audio recorded and transcribed. Researchers then undertook thematic analysis of focus groups: independently coding transcripts for data related to the research questions, conducting consensus coding, and then analyzing coded data for themes.

RESULTS: 39 students participated in focus groups, approximately half of whom were undergraduate students and the other half were graduate students. They preferred animated video characters that were relatable to college students but abstract enough to represent a range of students, such as stick figures with backpacks. They preferred conversational narration with subtle humor and references to realistic reasons for college students using drugs or alcohol. Participants encouraged inclusion of information about SUD impacts on school, work, and relationships, in addition to physical health. Participants opposed any content or style that could be interpreted as fear-mongering. They requested more information regarding medication-assisted treatment efficacy and less information about side effects.

CONCLUSION: College students have unique cultural needs, necessitating tailored educational interventions about SUD and SUD treatments.

Language: en


College students; education; focus groups; prevention; qualitative; substance use disorder; treatment; videos


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