Internet-based interventions for problem drinkers: From efficacy trials to implementation

Authors

  • JOHN A. CUNNINGHAM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada,
      John A. Cunningham PhD, Professor, Zarnie Khadjesari MSc, Research Associate, Bridgette M. Bewick PhD, Lecturer, Heleen Riper PhD, Professor. Dr John A. Cunningham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2S1. Tel: +1 416 535 8501; Fax: +1 416 595 6899; E-mail: john_cunningham@camh.net
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  • ZARNIE KHADJESARI,

    1. e-Health Unit, Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London, UK,
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  • BRIDGETTE M. BEWICK,

    1. Academic Unit of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, and
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  • HELEEN RIPER

    1. Innovation Centre of Mental Health & Technology, Trimbos Institute, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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  • Source of funding: J. C.: funding provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Research Grant No. 1 R01 AA015056-01A2. In addition, support to CAMH for salary of scientists and infrastructure has been provided by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. Finally, J. C. is supported as the Canada Research Chair in Brief Interventions for Addictive Behaviours. Z. K.: supported by a UCL PhD Fellowship. B. M. B.: funding was provided by the Alcohol Education Research Council (AERC; ref 06/05). Past funding for the development of Unitcheck was received from the European Research Advisory Board.

  • Conflict of interest statement: J. C. has acted as a paid consultant for Evolution Health Systems Inc. in the development of the Check Your Drinking screener. Z. K., B. B. and H. R. have no conflicts of interest to declare.

John A. Cunningham PhD, Professor, Zarnie Khadjesari MSc, Research Associate, Bridgette M. Bewick PhD, Lecturer, Heleen Riper PhD, Professor. Dr John A. Cunningham, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 33 Russell Street, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2S1. Tel: +1 416 535 8501; Fax: +1 416 595 6899; E-mail: john_cunningham@camh.net

Abstract

Aims.Internet-based interventions (IBIs) for problem drinkers have been in existence for over a decade. In that time, IBIs have increased in sophistication and there is the beginning of a solid research base suggesting their efficacy. A growing number of problem drinkers are using IBIs and attempts have been made to explore how IBIs can be integrated within primary care and other health-care settings. This symposium provided an overview of IBIs for problem drinkers and highlighted some of the important issues in their development and implementation.

Rationale.IBIs appear to be at a ‘cusp’ as technology and intervention practices are merged together in an attempt to provide better health care for problem drinkers. The timing of the 2009 International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol Problems Conference was ideal for a presentation and discussion of the role that IBIs play now that IBIs have started to shift into the mainstream of services for problem drinkers.

Summary.The presentations in this symposium covered the ‘bench to bedside’ aspects of the development and evaluation of IBIs. They included a systematic review of the research to-date in this field, a report on the results from a just completed randomised controlled trial, a report on an effectiveness trial of implementing IBIs in multiple university settings and a consideration of the cost-effectiveness of IBIs.[Cunningham JA, Khadjesari Z, Bewick BM, Riper H. Internet-based interventions for problem drinkers: From efficacy trials to implementation. Drug Alcohol Rev 2010;29;617–622]

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