Online interventions for people hospitalized for deliberate self-harm and problematic alcohol use: Lessons learned from the iiAIM trial

Bull Menninger Clin. 2021 Spring;85(2):123-142. doi: 10.1521/bumc.2021.85.2.123.


Deliberate self-harm and suicide affect all age groups, sexes, and regions, and their prevention is a global health priority. Acute alcohol misuse and chronic alcohol misuse are strong, modifiable risk factors, and Internet interventions aiming to reduce alcohol misuse and comorbid mental health problems (e.g., depression) are a promising and effective treatment modality. The research team aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of an Internet-based comorbidity intervention primarily aiming to reduce alcohol consumption, and secondarily to reduce readmission for deliberate self-harm and improve psychological outcomes among people hospitalized for deliberate self-harm who also engage in problematic alcohol use. However, due to several barriers to recruitment, the trial could not be completed and was discontinued. The authors present a "Lessons Learned" discussion and describe the Internet Intervention for Alcohol Improvement (iiAIM) trial, discuss the key barriers experienced by the research team, and recommend potential solutions that may help future trials in this area.

Keywords: alcohol; barrier; mental health; online intervention; recruitment; self-harm; suicide.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Comorbidity
  • Humans
  • Internet-Based Intervention*
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide*