Background: This study presents results from qualitative interviews conducted with participants in a study on the effectiveness of the Location-Based Monitoring and Intervention System for Alcohol Use Disorders (LBMI-A), a smartphone-based, stand-alone intervention application (app) for adults with alcohol use disorders.
Materials and methods: Participants were provided an LBMI-A-enabled smartphone to use during a 6-week pilot study. The LBMI-A was composed of psychoeducational modules, assessment and feedback of alcohol use patterns, geographic high-risk location monitoring and alerts, and in vivo assessment and intervention for alcohol cravings and help with managing psychological distress. Semistructured interviews were conducted with all participants following 6 weeks of interacting with the LBMI-A app (n=26). Interviews explored user perceptions of the ease and utility of LBMI-A features, module helpfulness, barriers to use, and recommendations for improvements to the program. Researchers applied a systematic qualitative coding process to transcripts that included both a priori themes identified as important by the research team and new themes that emerged during the coding process.
Results and conclusions: Narrative analysis found the emergence of five main themes identified by LBMI-A users as the most helpful functions of the phone: (1) Awareness, (2) Accountability, (3) Skill Transference, (4) Tracking Progress, and (5) Prompts. These themes are explored, and implications of these findings for future smartphone-based interventions are discussed.
Keywords: behavioral health; telecommunications; telehealth; telepathology.