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Currently submitted to: JMIR Research Protocols

Date Submitted: May 13, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: May 19, 2020 - Jul 19, 2020
(currently open for review)

Warning: This is an author submission that is not peer-reviewed or edited. Preprints - unless they show as "accepted" - should not be relied on to guide clinical practice or health-related behavior and should not be reported in news media as established information.

Evaluating the efficacy of Drinks:Ration app and personalised text and push messaging to reduce alcohol consumption in a veteran population: Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial

  • Daniel Leightley; 
  • Roberto J Rona; 
  • James Shearer; 
  • Cerisse Gunasinghe; 
  • Amos Simms; 
  • Nicola T Fear; 
  • Laura Goodwin; 
  • Dominic Murphy; 

ABSTRACT

Background:

Alcohol misuse is higher in the United Kingdom (UK) Armed Forces (AF) than the general population. Previous research has shown that interventions delivered via smartphone are efficacious in promoting self-monitoring of alcohol use, have utility in reducing alcohol consumption and have a broad reach.

Objective:

To be completed.

Methods:

In a two-arm Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), a smartphone app which includes interactive digital features designed to enhance participant motivation and personalised messaging is compared to a smartphone app which only provides information on alcohol consumption. The trial will be conducted in a treatment-seeking veteran population recruited from Combat Stress; a UK veteran’s mental health charity. Recruitment, consent and data collection is performed automatically through the Drinks:Ration platform. The primary outcome is change in alcohol consumption between baseline (day 0) and 3-month follow-up (day 84) as measured using the Time-Line Follow back for Alcohol Consumption; secondary outcome measures include 1) change in baseline to follow-up Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test score, and 2) change in baseline to follow-up World Health Organisation Quality of Life-BREF score to assess Quality of Adjusted Life Years. Process evaluation measures include 1) app usage, and 2) usability ratings as measured by the mHealth App Usability Questionnaire.

Results:

The study will begin recruitment in September 2020 and is expected to require 12 months to complete. Study results should be published in 2022.

Conclusions:

This study will test if a smartphone app has the efficacy to reduce alcohol consumption in a treatment-seeking veteran population using personalised messaging and interactive digital features. This innovative approach, if successful, may provide a means to deliver a low cost health promotion programme that has the potential to reach large groups, in particular those geographically dispersed such as military personnel.


 Citation

Please cite as:

Leightley D, Rona RJ, Shearer J, Gunasinghe C, Simms A, Fear NT, Goodwin L, Murphy D

Evaluating the efficacy of Drinks:Ration app and personalised text and push messaging to reduce alcohol consumption in a veteran population: Protocol for a Randomised Controlled Trial

JMIR Preprints. 13/05/2020:19720

DOI: 10.2196/preprints.19720

URL: https://preprints.jmir.org/preprint/19720

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