E-mental health interventions for harmful alcohol use: research methods and outcomes
01 / 2008 - 11 / 2011
This project aims to evaluate the efficacy of an internet based treatment module in a randomized controlled trial. In this trial, clinical outcome (self-reported alcohol usage), changes in Quality of Life and changes in work-related performance of therapy online, self-help online, and a waiting list control group are compared in a three group RCT. Demographic measures will be collected to extend the knowledge on the target group of this type of intervention. An investigation of the costs of setting-up and running such an intervention, as well as the personal and societal benefits of participation for people with alcohol related problems will be made. Research questions therefore are:a) To what extend does therapy online help participants reduce drinking, improve quality of life and work-related performance, compared to participants in self-help online and waiting-list controls? Do participants of self-help online reduce their drinking, improve quality of life and work related performance more than participants on the waiting list?b) What are demographic characteristics of participants of therapy online / self-help online and how do these characteristics differ from clients treated in the regular, face-to-face CBT programmes?c) What are the costs and benefits of treating one participant with therapy online, do the benefits outweigh the costs and how do these costs and benefits compare to the treatment of one client in a regular face-to-face CBT program? The internet provides new pathways for delivering interventions aiming to reduce alcohol intake and dependency. This research project aims to evaluate the efficacy of two internet based treatment modules. Both treatment modules are developed by JellinekMentrum. The first treatment module is therapy online: a real-time, online, non-anonymous, counselor-guided therapy module. Therapy online is based on cognitive behavioral therapy and combines homework assignments alcohol use monitoring and several real-time chat sessions with experienced counselors. The second treatment module is an anonymous, online, non-counselor involved, fully automated self-guided treatment module, which will be called self-help online in this proposal. In a three arm randomized clinical trial, therapy online will be compared with both self-help online and a waiting list control group. Main outcome measures are on alcohol drinking reduction, improvement in quality of life, and improvement in work-related ability. In a second study, participants of therapy online will be compared on diverse demographical characteristics with the regular, face-to-face clientele, since it is expected that a relatively new, hidden population with relatively good social status and societal perspective is attracted to this online therapy method. In a third study, costs and benefits of therapy online and self-help online will be investigated. The results of this project will be published in peer-reviewed articles and presented on conferences.
Matthijs Blankers onderzocht de effectiviteit en kosten van psychologische zorg via internet (e-mental health) bij problematisch alcoholgebruik. In een gerandomiseerd onderzoek vergeleek hij een weinig intensieve zelfhulpinterventie met een intensieve chat-therapie. Intensief chatten met een behandelaar geeft volgens Blankers de beste resultaten. Hij concludeert dat het het beste is om cliënten eerst zelfhulpinterventie aan te bieden en bij het uitblijven van resultaten over te gaan op een intensieve therapievorm. Dat leidt tot lagere kosten bij gelijkblijvende kwaliteit van zorg.