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Supplementary Material for: A 6-Month Randomized Trial of a Smartphone Application, UControlDrink, in Aiding Recovery in Alcohol Use Disorder

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posted on 19.11.2021, 10:25 by Farren C., Farrell A., Hagerty A., McHugh C.
Background and Aims: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a substantial problem, causing early death and great economic burden. Research has highlighted the potential positive impact of technological interventions, such as smartphone applications (app) in treatment of AUD. The aim of this study was to explore the effectiveness of a smartphone app, incorporating computerized cognitive behavioural therapy and text messaging support, on alcohol outcomes over 6 months in a post-rehabilitation setting. Methods: A total of 111 participants with AUD were recruited into this randomized controlled trial, following completion of a 30-day rehabilitation programme. The intervention group (n = 54) used the smartphone app “UControlDrink” (UCD) over 6 months with treatment as usual (TAU), and the control group (n = 57) received TAU. All subjects suffered from AUD as the primary disorder, with other major psychiatric disorders excluded. All intervention subjects used the UCD smartphone app in the treatment trial, and all subjects underwent TAU consisting of outpatient weekly support groups. Drinking history in the previous 90 days was measured at baseline and at 3- and 6-month follow-ups. Additional measurements were made to assess mood, anxiety, craving, and motivation. Results were analysed using intention-to-treat analyses. Results: Retention in the study was 72% at 3 months and 52% at 6 months. There was a significant reduction in heavy drinking days in the intervention group relative to TAU over the 6 months, p < 0.02. Conclusions: The UCD smartphone app demonstrates a significant benefit to reducing heavy drinking days over a 6-month post-rehabilitation period in AUD.

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