The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Internet support for dealing with problematic alcohol use: a survey of the Soberistas online community

Internet support for dealing with problematic alcohol use: a survey of the Soberistas online community
Internet support for dealing with problematic alcohol use: a survey of the Soberistas online community
Aims: advances in technology have led to an increased range of possibilities for forms of mutual aid in addictions, and patient empowerment in the management of long-term conditions. However, the effective processes involved may be different online than for those that meet in person. Soberistas is a ‘social network site for people who are trying to resolve their problematic drinking patterns’. We aim to describe the population, component parts and processes that define this online community, and consider potential mechanisms of action for future research.

Methods: cross-sectional online survey through an advert embedded within the Soberistas website. Participants were asked questions about themselves, their alcohol use and use of the website.

Results: four hundred and thirty-eight people completed the survey, primarily women, 50% of whom lived with their children. Over 60% described having problematic alcohol use for over 10 years and 46.5% had not tried any form of previous support. Participants accessed the site at different stages of change; over half still drinking alcohol, cutting down or recently stopped. Over 18% reported abstinence of over 1 year. Anonymity, the ability to be honest, being a source of trusted information, and ongoing support were all cited as reasons for continued membership.

Conclusion: Soberistas offers a form of mutual aid primarily for women who have often not engaged with other treatment or support. This preliminary study suggests that the online, flexible, platform affords members an accessible and anonymous community to address their difficulties and encourages a positive ‘alcohol free’ identity.

Short summary: Soberistas is ‘an online community of people who are trying to resolve their problematic drinking patterns’. Preliminary data suggest that it offers a flexible platform for mutual aid primarily for women who have often not engaged with other treatment or support, by encouraging a positive ‘alcohol free’ identity.
0735-0414
220–226
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c
Chambers, Sophia
144bdaab-9a0e-41d9-b471-6abe343ce375
Manson, Christopher
973e102a-d89d-4bdc-95e8-399fe4b4fc16
Sinclair, Julia
be3e54d5-c6da-4950-b0ba-3cb8cdcab13c
Chambers, Sophia
144bdaab-9a0e-41d9-b471-6abe343ce375
Manson, Christopher
973e102a-d89d-4bdc-95e8-399fe4b4fc16

Sinclair, Julia, Chambers, Sophia and Manson, Christopher (2017) Internet support for dealing with problematic alcohol use: a survey of the Soberistas online community. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 52 (2), 220–226. (doi:10.1093/alcalc/agw078).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aims: advances in technology have led to an increased range of possibilities for forms of mutual aid in addictions, and patient empowerment in the management of long-term conditions. However, the effective processes involved may be different online than for those that meet in person. Soberistas is a ‘social network site for people who are trying to resolve their problematic drinking patterns’. We aim to describe the population, component parts and processes that define this online community, and consider potential mechanisms of action for future research.

Methods: cross-sectional online survey through an advert embedded within the Soberistas website. Participants were asked questions about themselves, their alcohol use and use of the website.

Results: four hundred and thirty-eight people completed the survey, primarily women, 50% of whom lived with their children. Over 60% described having problematic alcohol use for over 10 years and 46.5% had not tried any form of previous support. Participants accessed the site at different stages of change; over half still drinking alcohol, cutting down or recently stopped. Over 18% reported abstinence of over 1 year. Anonymity, the ability to be honest, being a source of trusted information, and ongoing support were all cited as reasons for continued membership.

Conclusion: Soberistas offers a form of mutual aid primarily for women who have often not engaged with other treatment or support. This preliminary study suggests that the online, flexible, platform affords members an accessible and anonymous community to address their difficulties and encourages a positive ‘alcohol free’ identity.

Short summary: Soberistas is ‘an online community of people who are trying to resolve their problematic drinking patterns’. Preliminary data suggest that it offers a flexible platform for mutual aid primarily for women who have often not engaged with other treatment or support, by encouraging a positive ‘alcohol free’ identity.

Text
Internet Support for Dealing with Problematic Alcohol Use A Survey of the Soberistas Online Community.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (222kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 4 October 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 25 October 2016
Published date: March 2017
Additional Information: Other than involvement in piloting the questionnaire and hosting it on the website, staff at Soberistas had no involvement in the design, analysis or write up of this study. Lead to the alcohol programme within the Wessex Academic Health Science NetworkFunded by Wessex Academic Health Science Network: Enterprise grant awarded to Soberistas for evaluation of the site
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402378
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402378
ISSN: 0735-0414
PURE UUID: f26d6416-96f4-4a26-bccd-4cc26ea246c7
ORCID for Julia Sinclair: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1905-2025

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Nov 2016 14:53
Last modified: 10 Dec 2019 01:53

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×