In a recent paper (‘Holy shit, didn’t realise my drinking was high risk’: An analysis of the way risk is enacted through an online alcohol and drug screening intervention) – the authors discuss how an online screening and feedback intervention (similar to SBIs [Screening and Brief Intervention]) can foster a sense of “expertness and objectivity”.
Using a qualitative analysis of participants’ reported experiences with this intervention, three outcomes were discussed:
(i) Participants’ beliefs regarding personal health risks were overshadowed by ‘expert’ risk via the intervention (my guess is this type of participant feedback influenced the title of the paper).
(ii) Participants’ accurate beliefs regarding health risk were validated by the intervention.
(iii) Participants didn’t feel the health risk communicated by the intervention was accurate.
What can we take from this? Although we can deliver an intervention and measure its impact, interpretations regarding how the intervention works may be limited without understanding participants’ feelings and experiences with the program.