Home > Digital interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm: a rapid horizon scanning review.

Field, Matt and Campbell, Fiona and Hock, Emma and Wong, Ruth [Alcohol Change UK] . (2019) Digital interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm: a rapid horizon scanning review. London: Alcohol Change UK. 75 p.

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Method

We conducted a rapid horizon scanning review of the published and grey literature on digital interventions to reduce alcohol-related harm covering the period January 2017 to April 2019. We had three broad aims:
1 To identify and describe innovations and newly emerging digital interventions that can be used to reduce alcohol-related harm.
2 To consider how these compare with existing digital interventions.
3 To identify potential gaps in the types of digital interventions that are being developed or subjected to rigorous evaluation. 

Findings

There are many randomized controlled trials of digital interventions (at least 72 published between 2017 and 2019), but relatively few studies have used other methods to evaluate those interventions. Populations that are most at risk of alcohol-related harm have been understudied relative to community-dwelling and student populations. There were notable recent trends for digital interventions to be increasingly delivered via the internet and smartphone apps, sometimes in combination with biosensors, and for interventions for delivery in clinical and primary prevention settings. Alcohol reduction apps available in the app stores may increasingly be using interactive features rather than simply providing information. 

Conclusions and recommendations

This is an active and rapidly evolving field of research and technological development. It is important to develop and evaluate digital interventions for populations that are most at risk of alcohol-related harm and use a range of research methods to evaluate newly emerging digital technologies. It is also important to ensure that the features of effective digital interventions are identified, and consider how these might differ depending on the population that is receiving the intervention. Given the speed of development in this field there is a need to keep the evidence base regularly updated.

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD prevention, AOD disorder harm reduction
Source:Alcohol Change UK
Date:July 2019
Pages:75 p.
Publisher:Alcohol Change UK
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Related URLs:
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Substance use behaviour > Alcohol consumption
B Substances > Alcohol
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health related prevention > Health information and education
N Communication, information and education > Information use and impact
N Communication, information and education > Information technology / Digital

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