Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research 2016 8 20() doi 10.1111/acer.13198
Heavy alcohol consumption can be harmful, particularly for individuals with HIV. There is substantial variability in response to interventions that aim to reduce drinking. Neighborhood drinking norms may explain some of this variability among HIV-infected patients. Therefore, we investigated whether neighborhood-level drinking norms modified response to alcohol intervention among HIV-infected heavy drinkers.
Heavily-drinking HIV comprehensive care patients (n = 230) completed 1 of 3 brief alcohol interventions (an educational intervention, a motivational interviewing [MI] intervention, or an MI intervention with a technological enhancement called HealthCall). Drinking was reported at baseline and end of treatment (60 days). Neighborhood-level drinking norms were obtained from a separate general population study.
Patients’ reductions in drinks per drinking day in response to MI (as compared with the educational control) were more pronounced in neighborhoods with more permissive drinking norms. In contrast, patients’ reductions in drinks per drinking day in response to MI plus HealthCall did not significantly vary between neighborhoods with different drinking norms. Norms did not evidence significant interactions with intervention condition for 3 other exploratory drinking outcomes (drinking frequency, binge frequency, and maximum quantity).
Neighborhood-level drinking norms help explain differential response to an alcohol MI intervention among HIV-infected patients. This study suggests the utility of considering neighborhood context as an effect modifier of alcohol interventions.