This world-first project aims to examine the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a neuroscience-informed smartphone-delivered app designed to reduce cognitive biases to alcohol cues. The app uses a form of brain-training called cognitive bias modification (CBM) to dampen automatic, impulsive responding to alcohol cues that can induce craving and lead to consumption. This is the first examination of a tailored, personalised form of CBM where app users are trained to repeatedly avoid images of their own preferred alcoholic drinks/ brands and to approach images representing their personal goals or motivations for cutting down. Its Smartphone delivery ensures CBM reaches individuals irrespective of time and place, potentially offering a ‘just-in-time’ intervention, during periods of heightened vulnerability (i.e., events, days and times associated with drinking). The project will explore the effectiveness of the app in both clinical populations (i.e,. as an adjunctive intervention during inpatient treatment and as a way of delivering CBM post-discharge to offer booster sessions) and non-clinical populations (i.e., heavy drinkers in the community including special populations e.g., youth).
alcohol, neurocognitive-training, cognitive bias modification, smartphone app, intervention, clinical, non-clinical
Eastern Health Clinical School
Top-up scholarship funding available