Mobile Health for Alcohol Use Disorders in Clinical Practice

  • End date
    Apr 27, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Wisconsin, Madison
Updated on 2 March 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


This study evaluates the impact on risky drinking days and quality of life for patients with alcohol use disorder among patients who use a mobile health smart phone application. A third of the participants will receive access to the smart phone app without any monitoring; a third of the participants will receive access to the smart phone app monitored by and connected with a peer mentor; a third will receive access to the smart phone app monitored by and connected with a health coach who works within a healthcare system.


Patients in the trial will be given versions of an evidence-based mobile-health (mHealth) system (re-design based on A-CHESS) that is delivered using different implementation strategies according to study group. A-CHESS has more than 18 services designed to improve social relatedness, coping competence, and intrinsic motivation. The following describes key A-CHESS services that will be tested in the current study:

  • Welcome message - patients write why they are choosing to reduce their drinking.
  • Coping with Cravings - the system automatically notifies nearby pre-approved friends, family, and peers, who can respond to a request for support. The patient can also be linked to positive activities, such as suggested games to download and play and audio/video-based relaxation recordings.
  • Monitoring functionality- self-assessment measures, record of A-CHESS use, and prediction of the patient's likelihood of having a heavy drinking episode in the next week. A-CHESS sends patients with worrisome responses suggestions of coping skills, online peer support, healthy events, etc. With patient permission, a prediction of high-risk can be shared with others in a position to provide support.
  • Triage and feedback functionality is designed to derail a setback in goal attainment, giving the patient 'just in time,' tailored support by linking patients to relevant A-CHESS resources or individuals (depending on group assignment).
  • The Specialist Report, harvests clinically relevant data from A-CHESS and presents it to a peer mentor (in the peer-supported group) or a health coach (in the clinically integrated group), at which point they may intervene with patients (e.g., through texting in A-CHESS).
  • Facilitated discussion groups (in the clinically integrated group.) Discussions are monitored daily by an A-CHESS coach.
  • Library - information about healthy lifestyle choices, calendar of healthy events in the area, etc.
  • Drink tracker and report feature - patients to self-monitor their drinking and each week see a summary of how they did the past week.
  • Profiles about why patients want to reduce their drinking.

All patients enrolled in the study will participate in a 3-month intervention period followed by a 9-month follow-up period, for a total of 12 months. All patient will undergo a 72-hour run-in period. After 72 hours, patients who remain in the study will be randomized to one of the following groups and receive the appropriate access to features. One group will operate independently; one group will have help from a peer-mentor; one group will be connected to a healthcare system by a health coach.

Condition Alcohol Drinking, Telemedicine
Treatment A-CHESS self-monitored, A-CHESS peer-supported, A-CHESS clinically-integrated
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04011644
SponsorUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison
Last Modified on2 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

are 21+ years old
interested in learning about ways to reduce drinking
willing to download and use A-CHESS
lives in within the geographical boundaries of the UW Health system
be able to understand and sign an electronic consent form in English
own an Apple or android smart phone
meets the criteria for at risk drinking on the AUDIT screening
responds yes to at least one question on the Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 survey, and
indicates in the past week they have had at least 7 drinks and 3 on a single day (women), or had at least 14 drinks and 4 on a single day (men)

Exclusion Criteria

has a severe alcohol use disorder (yes to 6+ items on the Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5)
have a current psychotic disorder
have an acute medical problem requiring immediate hospitalization
have a known terminal illness
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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