Eliciting Perceived Norms About Substance Use

Overview

Survey experiment to elicit perceived norms about substance use

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Other
    • Masking: Double (Participant, Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: December 31, 2021

Detailed Description

Health behaviors and health risk behaviors are known to be associated with the extent to which one perceives these behaviors as normative. The canonical example of this phenomenon is taken from the U.S. literature, which has robustly shown that undergraduate students on college campuses tend to drink more heavily and frequently if they believe their classmates drink heavily and frequently, irrespective of their classmates' actual levels and frequency of use. However, there remains little systematic understanding about the best ways to elicit these perceived norms through survey-based research studies. This randomized survey experiment compares different ways of eliciting perceived norms.

Interventions

  • Other: Survey questionnaire
    • Each version of the questionnaire has the same questions about perceived norms about substance use in the community but differs in how the response options are offered.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Experimental: Experimental: V1: Binary Response Options
    • As this is a survey experiment, the “intervention” involves random assignment to a survey questionnaire with specific wording. Each question in this version of the survey questionnaire has binary (yes/no) response options.
  • Experimental: Experimental: V2: Categorical Response Options
    • As this is a survey experiment, the “intervention” involves random assignment to a survey questionnaire with specific wording. Each question in this version of the survey questionnaire has categorical response options: all or almost all; more than half, but fewer than 90%; fewer than half, but more than 10%; very few, or no one
  • Experimental: Experimental: V3: Open-Ended Numerical Estimate
    • As this is a survey experiment, the “intervention” involves random assignment to a survey questionnaire with specific wording. Each question in this version of the survey questionnaire permits the study participant to provide an open-ended numerical estimate.

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Perception of Tobacco Use Frequency Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish smoked cigarettes four or more times per week in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Tobacco Use Frequency Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish smoked cigarettes four or more times per week in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Use Frequency Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish taken alcohol four or more times per week in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Use Frequency Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish taken alcohol four or more times per week in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol-Related Blackouts Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish been unable to remember what happened the night before at least once as a result of them taking alcohol in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol-Related Blackouts Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish been unable to remember what happened the night before at least once as a result of them taking alcohol in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol-Related Spousal Problems Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish quarreled after taking alcohol with their spouse or main partner if they have one in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol-Related Spousal Problems Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish quarreled after taking alcohol with their spouse or main partner if they have one in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Intoxication Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish experienced drunkenness or intoxication on 3 or more days in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Intoxication Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 30 days)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish experienced drunkenness or intoxication on 3 or more days in the past 30 days?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Use Financial Harms Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish had a harmful effect on their household’s finances due to them taking alcohol in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Use Financial Harms Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish had a harmful effect on their household’s finances due to them taking alcohol in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Spending Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish spent more than 35,000 USh on any kind of alcohol in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Spending Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish spent more than 35,000 USh on any kind of alcohol in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Binge Use Frequency Among Men
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most men in your cell in this parish taken 6 or more drinks in a single morning, afternoon, or night in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)
  • Perception of Alcohol Binge Use Frequency Among Women
    • Time Frame: Baseline (The experimental manipulation in this study has to do with which version of the survey the study participant receives, so the time frame for assessment is immediate, and participants are asked about the past 12 months)
    • “According to your perception, have most women in your cell in this parish taken 6 or more drinks in a single morning, afternoon, or night in the past 12 months?” (single item, culturally adapted and developed for this study; categorical response options)

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • All adults who consider Nyakabare their primary place of residence and who are capable of providing consent Exclusion Criteria:

  • Minors younger than 18 years of age, with the exception of emancipated minors – Persons who do not consider Nyakabare Parish their primary place of residence, e.g., persons who happen to be visiting Nyakabare at the time of the survey or who own a home in Nyakabare but spend most of their time outside the parish – Persons with psychosis, neurological damage, acute intoxication, or other cognitive impairment (all of which are determined informally in the field by non-clinical research staff in consultation with a supervisor)

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Collaborator
    • Mbarara University of Science and Technology
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Alexander Tsai, Associate Professor of Psychiatry – Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Alexander C Tsai, MD, Principal Investigator, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Alexander C Tsai, MD, 617-724-1120, actsai@partners.org

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