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Alcohol abuse, Computer, Internet, Rural, Women, World Wide Web





Alcohol abuse among women in rural areas is a concern, particularly because treatment is not readily accessible and women are highly susceptible to the ill effects of alcohol misuse. The Internet may offer a treatment delivery alternative for women who cannot easily take part in sex-focused programs that are located in urban centers. The purpose of this randomized study was to evaluate a 90-day Web-based treatment program for women in rural areas of Missouri with problem drinking habits. The online treatment program consisted of reference and decision-making modules, synchronous and asynchronous communication features, and the option to interact privately with the researcher. Preliminary findings relating to participant demographics, Web site use, and satisfaction are reported in this article. The enrolled participants (n = 46) had a mean (SD) age of 50 (11) years and were relatively well educated and, to a large extent, financially secure. Based on their Web site usage, participants appeared to prefer reading communiques over actively posting messages to the asynchronous bulletin board. In general, participants indicated satisfaction with the program, and 83% noted that they would recommend it to a friend.