Background: Adults experiencing homelessness have much higher rates of alcohol misuse than housed individuals. This study describes the development and preliminary effectiveness of a smartphone-based, just-in-time adaptive intervention (JITAI) to reduce alcohol use among adults experiencing homelessness.
Methods: We conducted a pilot trial (N = 41; mean age [SD] = 45.2 [11.5]; 19.5% women) of the Smart-T Alcohol JITAI where participants completed brief ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) each day, received personalized treatment messages following each EMA, and accessed on-demand intervention content for 4 weeks. The prediction algorithm and treatment messages were developed based on an independent but similar sample as part of the trial. We examined three drinking outcomes: daily drinking (yes/no), drinks per day, and heavy episodic drinking, controlling for scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) at baseline, age, and sex using quadratic growth curve models.
Results: Over the 4-week period, participants showed a decline in all alcohol use outcomes. Participants also reported high levels of satisfaction with the JITAI.
Conclusions: Use of the Smart-T Alcohol JITAI was well received and provided encouraging evidence that it may reduce any drinking, drinks per day, and heavy episodic drinking among adults experiencing homelessness.
Keywords: alcohol; ecological momentary assessment; homeless; just-in-time adaptive intervention; treatment.
© 2022 Research Society on Alcoholism.