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Reducing alcohol-related harm and social disorder in a university community: a framework for evaluation
  1. Kimberly Cousins1,
  2. Jennie L Connor2,
  3. Kypros Kypri1,3
  1. 1Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, Dunedin, New Zealand
  2. 2Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  3. 3School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Kimberly Cousins, Injury Prevention Research Unit, Dunedin School of Medicine, PO Box 56, 55 Hanover Street, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand; kimberly.cousins{at}


Background In New Zealand and other middle to high income countries, university student are at high risk of alcohol-related injury and other problems due to their typical pattern of episodic heavy drinking. In 2007, one university implemented Campus Watch, a novel and extensive programme to reduce social disorder, including alcohol-related injury, in the university area.

Objectives To quantify the effects of this complex intervention.

Setting A large public university campus and surrounding community in New Zealand.

Design A health promotion evaluation model was used, examining: (1) how the programme was developed, introduced and received by the community? (process); (2) whether the programme affected behaviour? (impact); and (3) whether the programme reduced social disorder and alcohol-related harm in particular? (outcome). The outcome phase uses a non-equivalent control group design to measure changes occurring in the Campus Watch area compared with other universities, and with a same-city control site.

Participants Programme staff, university students and other community members.

Data Interviews with university administrators and Campus Watch staff; surveys of local residents' views; Campus Watch incident data; national surveys of university students in 2005, 2007 and 2009; police data; fire department data.

Outcome Measures Prevalence of heavy episodic drinking; number of acute alcohol-related harms; incidence of antisocial behaviour, assault and street fires.

Analysis Regression analyses will be used to examine changes in the intervention site relative to changes in the control areas.

  • Alcohol/drugs
  • behavioural
  • college
  • community
  • evaluation
  • intervention
  • neighbourhood
  • public health
  • quasi-experimental
  • university

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  • Funding The Campus Watch evaluation is part of a PhD project that is funded by a HRC/ACC PhD career development award. Funding for the 2008 community surveys was provided by the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago. Funding for the 2009 community surveys and for the 2009 national survey was provided by the national discretionary grant fund of the Ministry of Health and by the Alcohol Advisory Council of New Zealand.

  • Competing interests None to declare.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the University of Otago Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.