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BMC Psychiatry. 2017 May 23;17(1):193. doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1359-2.

Internet-based attentional bias modification training as add-on to regular treatment in alcohol and cannabis dependent outpatients: a study protocol of a randomized control trial.

Author information

1
Verslavingszorg Noord Nederland, Leonard Springerlaan 27, 9727 KB, Groningen, The Netherlands. j.heitmann@vnn.nl.
2
Experimental and Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS, Groningen, The Netherlands. j.heitmann@vnn.nl.
3
Verslavingszorg Noord Nederland, Leonard Springerlaan 27, 9727 KB, Groningen, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Epidemiology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 30.001, 9700 RB, Groningen, The Netherlands.
5
Experimental and Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS, Groningen, The Netherlands.
6
School of Psychological Science, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
7
Department of Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 129B, 1018 WS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
8
Novadic-Kentron, Network for Addiction Treatment Services, Hogedwarsstraat 3, 5261 LX, Vught, The Netherlands.
9
Tactus Verslavingszorg, Keulenstraat 3, 7418 ET, Deventer, The Netherlands.
10
Iriszorg, Kronenburgsingel 545, 6831 GM, Arnhem, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The automatic tendency to attend to and focus on substance-related cues in the environment (attentional bias), has been found to contribute to the persistence of addiction. Attentional bias modification (ABM) interventions might, therefore, contribute to treatment outcome and the reduction of relapse rates. Based on some promising research findings, we designed a study to test the clinical relevance of ABM as an add-on component of regular intervention for alcohol and cannabis patients.

DESIGN/METHODS:

The current protocol describes a study which will investigate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a newly developed home-delivered, multi-session, internet-based ABM (iABM) intervention as an add-on to treatment as usual (TAU). TAU consists of cognitive behavioural therapy-based treatment according to the Dutch guidelines for the treatment of addiction. Participants (N = 213) will be outpatients from specialized addiction care institutions diagnosed with alcohol or cannabis dependency who will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: TAU + iABM; TAU + placebo condition; TAU-only. Primary outcome measures are substance use, craving, and rates of relapse. Changes in attentional bias will be measured to investigate whether changes in primary outcome measures can be attributed to the modification of attentional bias. Indices of cost-effectiveness and secondary physical and psychological complaints (depression, anxiety, and stress) are assessed as secondary outcome measures.

DISCUSSION:

This randomized control trial will be the first to investigate whether a home-delivered, multi-session iABM intervention is (cost-) effective in reducing relapse rates in alcohol and cannabis dependency as an add-on to TAU, compared with an active and a waiting list control group. If proven effective, this ABM intervention could be easily implemented as a home-delivered component of current TAU.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

Netherlands Trial Register, NTR5497 , registered on 18th September 2015.

KEYWORDS:

Addiction; Attentional bias modification; eHealth

PMID:
28535815
PMCID:
PMC5442699
DOI:
10.1186/s12888-017-1359-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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