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Addict Behav. 2018 Feb;77:89-95. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.020. Epub 2017 Sep 29.

Efficacy and outcomes of a mobile app targeting alcohol use in young people.

Author information

1
School of Psychology & Counselling, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address: l.hides@uq.edu.au.
2
School of Psychology & Counselling, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia; School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
3
School of Psychology & Counselling, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
4
Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
5
Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Abstract

Mobile apps provide a highly accessible way of reducing alcohol use in young people. This paper determines the 1-month efficacy and 2, 3 and 6month outcomes of the Ray's Night Out app, which aims to increase alcohol knowledge and reduce alcohol use in young people. User-experience design and agile development processes, informed by the Information-Motivation-Behavioral skills model and evidence-based motivational interviewing treatment approaches guided app development. A randomized controlled trial comparing immediate versus 1-month delayed access to the app was conducted in 197 young people (16 to 25years) who drank alcohol in the previous month. Participants were assessed at baseline, 1, 2, 3 and 6months. Alcohol knowledge, alcohol use and related harms and the severity of problematic drinking were assessed. App quality was evaluated after 1-month of app use. Participants in the immediate access group achieved a significantly greater increase in alcohol knowledge than the delayed access group at 1-month, but no differences in alcohol use or related problems were found. Both groups achieved significant reductions in the typical number of drinks on a drinking occasion over time. A reduction in maximum drinks consumed was also found at 1month. These reductions were most likely to occur in males and problem drinkers. Reductions in alcohol-related harm were also found. The app received a high mean quality (M=3.82/5, SD=0.51). The Ray app provides a youth-friendly and easily-accessible way of increasing young people's alcohol knowledge but further testing is required to determine its impact on alcohol use and related problems.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Application; Mobile; Outcome; Randomized controlled trial; Young people

PMID:
28992580
DOI:
10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.09.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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