Real-time demonstration of a mHealth app designed to reduce college students hazardous drinking.

Heavy alcohol use is a serious health issue in the United States with consequences such as illness, injury, and death. College students are among the most vulnerable to problems associated with risky drinking. This demographic is known as the Net Generation because members have grown up with digital technologies such as smartphones and apps. Thus, mobile health (mHealth) applications, successful in the delivery of health information and interventions to tech-savvy individuals, are a promising means of reaching them. To that end, we developed a smartphone application (SmarTrek) that targets college students and aims to reduce risky alcohol use. SmarTrek features are easy to use and have interactive components including text messages that incorporate motivational interviewing and ecological momentary interventions. We conducted iterative theater testing, field testing, and focus groups to evaluate the acceptability of SmarTrek with college students. We identified salient issues that might arise from SmarTrek use and modified the app based on feedback from participants. Participants were assigned to 2 groups (Group 1 [n = 4] and Group 2 [n = 6]). At baseline, participants completed 2 standardized surveys. Following their field testing, each group of participants was then invited to a focus group session of the app in which they provided feedback. The majority of participants (90%) agreed that SmarTrek was easy to use and that the information provided was useful and had a positive effect on decreasing their drinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)