Objectives: Alcohol consumption and associated risk-taking behaviors, are known issues among trainees in the Australian Defence Force. We evaluated the impact and feasibility of a 1 day injury awareness program designed to reduce alcohol-related risk-taking behavior and associated harms in young naval trainees in this pilot study. Method: One hundred eight naval trainees participated in the 1 day Prevent Alcohol and Risk related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) program at a hospital in Melbourne, Australia between November 2011 and March 2013. Participants completed pre- and postprogram questionnaires, on the day of the program, that included questions on perceptions of the program and their own risk-taking behavior. Alcohol-related incidents reported on their military record were collected at 12 months postprogram. Pre- and postprogram questionnaire responses were compared using descriptive statistics. Survival analysis was used to assess the association between pre-program alcohol-related incidents and the rate of reporting of alcohol-related incidents in the 12 months after the program. Results: Fifty of the 108 (46%) participants were reported for ≥1 alcohol-related incident prior to study participation. Fifteen (14%) were reported for an alcohol-related incident within 12 months of completing the program. Participants perceived the program positively with 92% reporting that the program would definitely influence their behavior after program completion compared to 82% suggesting so before. The rate of reported alcohol-related incidents following the program was higher for participants who had a preprogram incident on record than those who did not. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that PARTY participation was associated with a change in participants’ perceptions of risk-taking behavior. We found that alcohol-related incidents after attending the P.A.R.T.Y. program occurred more frequently among participants who had prior alcohol-related incidents suggesting the program may have less impact on this group. Further work is required to establish effectiveness of the P.A.R.T.Y. program in the military setting.
- military personnel