A 9-month follow-up of a 3-month web-based alcohol treatment program using intensive asynchronous therapeutic support
Number of pages
SourceAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 41, 4, (2015), pp. 309-316
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Background: Web-based alcohol interventions have demonstrated efficacy in randomized controlled trials. However, most studies have involved self-help interventions without therapeutic support. Objectives: To examine the results of a 3-month web-based alcohol treatment program using intensive, asynchronous (non-simultaneous) therapeutic support (www.alcoholdebaas.nl) at 9-month follow-up assessment. Methods: This study reports the follow-up results of 144 problem drinking participants who received a web-based alcohol treatment program. We investigated whether the intervention effects at treatment completion (3 months) continued to exist at 6 and 9 months of follow-up. The primary outcome measure was weekly alcohol consumption. Repeated measures analysis with a mixed model approach was used to address loss to follow-up. Results: Weekly alcohol consumption significantly improved between baseline and 9 months (F(1,74) = 85.6, p<0.001). Post-hoc tests revealed that the reduction occurred during the first 3 months (from 39.9-11.4 standard units a week). Although alcohol consumption had risen to 19.5 units per week at 9 months, it still decreased by more than 20 units compared to baseline drinking. Significant improvements with medium to large effect sizes were found on the secondary outcomes (depression, general health, and quality of life) at 9 months. Conclusion: The web-based alcohol treatment with intensive asynchronous therapeutic support has been shown to be effective in reducing alcohol consumption and improving health status at post treatment assessments. The present study showed that most of these improvements were sustained after 9 months. Despite the lack of a control group and the high dropout rate, our findings suggest that web-based treatment can achieve relevant health gains in the long term.
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