Background: This paper provides results from a pilot study focused on assessing early-stage effectiveness and usability of a smartphone-based intervention system that provides a stand-alone, self-administered intervention option, the Location-Based Monitoring and Intervention for Alcohol Use Disorders (LBMI-A). The LBMI-A provided numerous features for intervening with ongoing drinking, craving, connection with supportive others, managing life problems, high-risk location alerting, and activity scheduling.
Methods: Twenty-eight participants, ranging in age from 22 to 45, who met criteria for an alcohol use disorder used an LBMI-A-enabled smartphone for 6 weeks.
Results: Participants indicated the LBMI-A intervention modules were helpful in highlighting alcohol use patterns. Tools related to managing alcohol craving, monitoring consumption, and identifying triggers to drink were rated by participants as particularly helpful. Participants also demonstrated significant reductions in hazardous alcohol use while using the system (56% of days spent hazardously drinking at baseline vs. 25% while using the LBMI-A) and drinks per day diminished by 52%.
Conclusions: Implications for system improvement as well as suggestions for designing ecological momentary assessment and intervention systems for substance use disorders are discussed.
Keywords: Alcohol intervention; M-health; self-administered; smartphone; usability.