Last updated on March 2015

The Efficacy of A Smartphone-based Support System to Reinforce Alcohol Abstinence in Treatment-seeking Patients

Brief description of study

Background: Interactive and mobile technology to manage alcohol use problem potentially provide continuing care by offering emotional and instrumental support anywhere and in time, but the effectiveness for maintaining abstinence has not been examined. the investigators will evaluate in this study whether the smartphone-based support system would improve outcomes for people in recovery for alcohol dependence. To enable continuous self-monitoring and self-management, the phone support system prompts subjects to take Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) tests using a phone application and a Bluetooth sensor unit. The system also offers instantaneous feedback, self-management strategies, and anonymous mutual social support from other subjects. Methods: This three-year project will be conducted in three stages, including pilot study, efficacy evaluation (12 week), and post-intervention follow-up (12 week) stage. Participants will be given a smartphone (if the subject does not have one), breathalyzer and training session. In the pilot study stage,10 subjects will be enrolled to validate the system. In the efficacy evaluation stage, the investigators will conduct a 12-week by enrolling 100 post-detoxification alcohol dependent patients who are randomized to (1) standard treatment (ST) group or (2) standard treatment plus phone-based support group (technology intervention, TI group). Participants will be assessed by Time-Line Follow-Back (TLFB) to record the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption, visual analogue for craving, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and Quality of life Scale (WHOQOL-BREF) and compared for outcome measures. After the 12-week trial, the investigators will take back the support system and follow the all subjects in both groups for another 12 weeks, i.e. post-intervention stage, to further understand the sustaining benefit from intervention. In addition, the investigators will identify the clinical variables or system factors that are associated with outcome measures. Expected results: In this study, the investigators expect that in treatment-seeking alcohol dependent patients, a smartphone-supported self-management program, adding on to conventional treatment, will be beneficial in improving the drinking outcomes such as a higher abstinence rate, a lower relapse rate, and a lower drinking frequency and quantity.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02385643

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