Text messaging might assists to reduce social or binge drinking, in accordance to research done at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.
Results indicate “that when drinkers got adaptive tailored texts, their drinking reduction was similar to many in-person moderation treatments,” researchers note in a research released in the journal PLOS ONE.
Results from the study are significant to healthcare information technology executives because it recommends that technology use might improve treatment of behavioral disorders.
“Behavioral health problems like heavy drinking often need multiple support systems, and recent evidence recommends that text messaging might help to reduce problem drinking as an extension to in-person services,” in accordance to Fred Muench, lead author of the study and Director of Digital Health Interventions for the Behavioral Health Department of Northwell Health. “But very little is known about the effectiveness of remote messaging on problem drinking as a stand-alone intervention. There also is very less known about how different kinds of messages might improve outcomes in those seeking to moderate their alcohol consumption.”
For this study, 4 types of texts were sent at 6 p.m. each day, with particular patients getting a text tailored to them, like a message inquiring a patient to think about all they have lost through drinking or to consider what they can gain if their drinking is controlled. Tailored messages might involve ones sent on Friday night to provide encouragement over the weekend, or sending a text to sufferers at the times where they report they are most likely to overindulge.
Sufferers getting “adaptive tailored texts” that included usual messages but also extra information, decreased weekly alcohol consumption by 9.64 drinks, compared with a 2.5-drink decrease in the control group.
Researchers at the end of the research asked patients if they needed to get information for another 12 weeks, and 80% agreed. The study is available here.
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