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Smartphone applications can help in treatment for alcoholism
  1. Gerhard Andersson
  1. Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden and Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden gerhard.andersson@liu.se

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What is already known on this topic?

Cost-effective continued care for persons with alcohol use disorders is needed, but it can be problematic due to limited resources.1 During the past 20 years there has been a rapid development of computerised interventions within healthcare; in particular, internet-delivered treatments have been tested in a large number of controlled trials for various disorders.2 Recent studies suggest smartphone applications can be effective, although relatively few studies have been undertaken to date.3

What does this paper add?

  • The study stands out as being clearly based on a theory—the self-determination theory—which informed the development of the intervention. Briefly the theory puts forward that three needs contribute to adaptive function: perceived competence, feeling related to others, and feeling internally motivated and not forced to change behaviour.

  • The study shows that the intervention led to fewer risky drinking days compared to the control group and a higher likelihood of continued abstinence. Even in the case of small effects this can …

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