College Health Center-based Alcohol and Sexual Violence Intervention- A Randomized Study

  • This study aims to test two different approaches to reducing alcohol-related sexual violence on college campuses.  The study will take place in college student health services.  This is a randomized study  -- half of the college student health services (includes health educators, counselors, medical assistants, nurses, and clinicians) will receive training to deliver a trauma-focused intervention.  The other group of health centers will be trained to assess for alcohol use and offer harm reduction related to alcohol use. 

    The trauma-focused intervention is called GIFTS (Giving Information for Trauma Support and Safety). The intervention is intended for all clients seeking college health services integrated into usual clinical practice, providing universal education about sexual violence regardless of disclosure, counsel clients on harm reduction strategies to reduce risk for alcohol-related sexual violence, and offering supported referrals to sexual assault advocates, with the goal of reducing alcohol-related sexual violence.

    The alcohol-focused intervention will use screening and brief intervention recommendations from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to address alcohol misuse and abuse. 

    This study focuses on college student health services as the research suggests that youth who seek care in these confidential health settings have greater exposure to both alcohol as well as to interpersonal violence, thus are a higher risk population compared to the general college population.