Sonification and Music as Support to the Communication of Alcohol-Related Health Risks to Young People: Study design and results

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Excessive consumption of alcohol has been recognised as a significant risk factor impacting the health of young people. Effective communication of such risk is considered to be one key step to improve behaviour. We evaluated an innovative multimedia intervention that utilised audio (sonification—using sound to display data—and music) and interactivity to support the visual communication of alcohol health risk data. A 3-arm pilot experiment was undertaken. The trial measures included health knowledge, alcohol risk perception and user experience of the intervention. Ninety-six subjects participated in the experiment. At 1 month follow-up, alcohol knowledge and alcohol risk perception improved significantly in the whole sample. However, there was no difference between the intervention groups that experienced (1) visual presentation with interactivity (VI-Exp group) and, (2) visual presentation with audio (sonification and music) and interactivity (VAI-Exp group), when compared to the control group which experienced a (3) visual only presentation (V-Cont group). Participants reported enjoying the presentations and found them educational. The majority of participants indicated that the audio, music and sonification helped to convey the information well, and, although a larger sample size is needed to fully establish the effectiveness of the different interventions, this study provides a useful model for future similar studies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal on Multimodal User Interfaces
Early online date6 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2016


  • sonification
  • music
  • Interaction
  • alcohol
  • Health risk

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