The overall aim of the proposed project is to examine the feasibility of using innovative telemedicine technology to deliver an evidence-based alcohol intervention (MET) to rural offenders re-entering the community from prison. Hazardous use of alcohol is a considerable problem in rural areas. A primary correlate of the problem of hazardous alcohol use in rural areas is the limited access to and availability of health and behavioral services. In the absence of available and accessible re-entry alcohol interventions, rural offenders with a history of hazardous drinking are at heightened risk for alcohol relapse and recidivism when they return to the community. The study will include screening and recruiting rural offenders with a pre- incarceration history of hazardous drinking using the AUDIT. Participants (N=142) who meet criteria for hazardous drinking (AUDIT score of 8+) will be interviewed within one week of their release from prison and randomized to one of two study conditions: 1) Motivational Enhancement Telemedicine (METelemedicine) combined with usual re-entry services (n=71) and 2) Re-entry services as usual (n=71). In both study conditions, participants will have a referral to a community case manager (Social Service Clinician - SSC) by their parole officer, indicating that they are in need of alcohol services, and will meet criteria for outpatient level of care. In the METelemedicine condition, participants will also be provided with four sessions of MET with a therapist in an urban-based university treatment clinic using telemedicine videoconferencing. Outcome data will be collected at 3-months post release to examine number of days of alcohol abstinence at re-entry.
The specific aims of the study include: (1) Implement innovative telemedicine technology to deliver Motivational Enhancement Therapy (METelemedicine) to re-entering rural offenders with a pre-incarceration history of hazardous drinking, and (2) Examine the feasibility of using METelemedicine by re-entering rural offenders with a pre-incarceration history of hazardous drinking. If findings from this study establish feasibility of telemedicine as an approach for delivering an evidence-based practice, an R01 application will be developed to test the approach in a larger scale trial. The long-term objective of this research agenda is to increase access to effective treatment approaches for rural re-entering offenders in order to promote alcohol abstinence and reduce recidivism.
The overall aim of the proposed project is to examine the feasibility of using innovative telemedicine technology to deliver an evidence-based alcohol intervention (MET) to rural offenders re-entering the community from prison. The significance of this study for public health includes the opportunity to build on advances made by other uses of telemedicine that have included providing health and mental health services to individuals in rural areas and to incarcerated individuals. This study is innovative with the focus on offenders at community re-entry, as well as the use of telemedicine as a new technology to increase access to evidence- based alcohol services in real-world settings.
|Staton-Tindall, Michele; Havens, Jennifer R; Webster, J Matthew et al. (2014) METelemedicine: a pilot study with rural alcohol users on community supervision. J Rural Health 30:422-32|
|Staton-Tindall, Michele; Wahler, Elizabeth; Webster, J Matthew et al. (2012) Telemedicine-based alcohol services for rural offenders. Psychol Serv 9:298-309|