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Efficacy of a minimally guided internet treatment for alcohol misuse and emotional problems in young adults: Results of a randomized controlled trial


Frohlich, Jona R; Rapinda, Karli K; Schaub, Michael P; Wenger, Andreas; Baumgartner, Christian; Johnson, Edward A; O'Connor, Roisin M; Vincent, Norah; Blankers, Matthijs; Ebert, David D; Hadjistavropoulos, Heather D; Mackenzie, Corey S; Wardell, Jeffrey D; Augsburger, Mareike; Goldberg, Joel O; Keough, Matthew T (2021). Efficacy of a minimally guided internet treatment for alcohol misuse and emotional problems in young adults: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 14:100390.

Abstract

Many young adults struggle with comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems (i.e., depression and anxiety). However, there is currently a paucity of evidence-based, integrated, accessible treatment options for individuals with these comorbidities. The main goal of this study was to examine efficacy of a novel online, minimally guided, integrated program for comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems in young adults. Method: The study was an open-label two-arm RCT. Participants (N = 222, M age = 24.6, 67.6% female) were randomized to one of two conditions: the Take Care of Me program (an 8-week, online integrated treatment condition consisting of 12 modules), or an online psychoeducational control condition. Intervention modules incorporated content based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Participants completed assessment data at baseline, at the end of treatment (i.e., 8 weeks), and at follow-up (i.e., 24 weeks). Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models. Results: We observed that participants in the treatment condition showed larger reductions in depression, hazardous drinking, as well as increases in psychological quality of life and confidence at the end of treatment. We did not find group differences on total alcohol use at follow-up, but participants in the treatment group reduced their hazardous drinking and improved their quality of life at 24-week follow-up. Conclusions: Our study provides promising initial evidence for the first iteration of the comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems online program.

Keywords: Alcohol misuse; Anxiety; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Depression; Emerging adulthood; Integrated treatment; Minimally guided; Motivational interviewing; Online.

Abstract

Many young adults struggle with comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems (i.e., depression and anxiety). However, there is currently a paucity of evidence-based, integrated, accessible treatment options for individuals with these comorbidities. The main goal of this study was to examine efficacy of a novel online, minimally guided, integrated program for comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems in young adults. Method: The study was an open-label two-arm RCT. Participants (N = 222, M age = 24.6, 67.6% female) were randomized to one of two conditions: the Take Care of Me program (an 8-week, online integrated treatment condition consisting of 12 modules), or an online psychoeducational control condition. Intervention modules incorporated content based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Participants completed assessment data at baseline, at the end of treatment (i.e., 8 weeks), and at follow-up (i.e., 24 weeks). Data were analyzed using generalized linear mixed models. Results: We observed that participants in the treatment condition showed larger reductions in depression, hazardous drinking, as well as increases in psychological quality of life and confidence at the end of treatment. We did not find group differences on total alcohol use at follow-up, but participants in the treatment group reduced their hazardous drinking and improved their quality of life at 24-week follow-up. Conclusions: Our study provides promising initial evidence for the first iteration of the comorbid alcohol misuse and emotional problems online program.

Keywords: Alcohol misuse; Anxiety; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Depression; Emerging adulthood; Integrated treatment; Minimally guided; Motivational interviewing; Online.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Psychiatry and Mental health
Language:English
Date:1 December 2021
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 07:25
Last Modified:22 Dec 2023 08:34
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2352-8532
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2021.100390
PubMed ID:34938848
Project Information:
  • : FunderResearch Manitoba
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project Title
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)