Electronic Interventions for Alcohol Misuse and Alcohol Use Disorders: A Systematic Review.
BACKGROUND: The use of electronic interventions (e-interventions) may improve treatment of alcohol misuse. PURPOSE: To characterize treatment intensity and systematically review the evidence for efficacy of e-interventions, relative to controls, for reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol-related impairment in adults and college students. DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE (via PubMed) from January 2000 to March 2015 and the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, and PsycINFO from January 2000 to August 2014. STUDY SELECTION: English-language, randomized, controlled trials that involved at least 50 adults who misused alcohol; compared an e-intervention group with a control group; and reported outcomes at 6 months or longer. DATA EXTRACTION: Two reviewers abstracted data and independently rated trial quality and strength of evidence. DATA SYNTHESIS: In 28 unique trials, the modal e-intervention was brief feedback on alcohol consumption. Available data suggested a small reduction in consumption (approximately 1 drink per week) in adults and college students at 6 months but not at 12 months. There was no statistically significant effect on meeting drinking limit guidelines in adults or on binge-drinking episodes or social consequences of alcohol in college students. LIMITATIONS: E-interventions that ranged in intensity were combined in analyses. Quantitative results do not apply to short-term outcomes or alcohol use disorders. CONCLUSION: Evidence suggests that low-intensity e-inter ventions produce small reductions in alcohol consumption at 6 months, but there is little evidence for longer-term, clinically significant effects, such as meeting drinking limits. Future e-interventions could provide more intensive treatment and possibly human support to assist persons in meeting recommended drinking limits. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dedert, EA; McDuffie, JR; Stein, R; McNiel, JM; Kosinski, AS; Freiermuth, CE; Hemminger, A; Williams, JW
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