Primary Care Providers (PCPs) have the opportunity to identify and intervene with alcohol abusers and risky users at an early stage, preventing many negative health and societal consequences. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) for substance use problems is an effective treatment for high risk alcohol use as delivered in primary care settings. Unfortunately, time constraints make it difficult for PCPs to deliver brief interventions with high risk alcohol users. The proposed project will develop tools to streamline and supplement SBI as delivered in primary care. These tools will include a tablet computer-based screening tool and a mobile phone intervention for high risk drinkers. The web-based screening tool will generate both patient and provider feedback reports categorizing alcohol risk level and tailored by age and gender. Patients can complete the screening while waiting for their appointment or from home. For those who screen as high risk drinkers, a mobile phone-based program will provide an evidence-based brief intervention (BI), including enhanced feedback on drinking patterns, education about health and safety risks of excess drinking, and offering a menu of options and guided assistance with developing a change plan. Based on that change plan, patients will choose from a variety of options for personalized interventions and education, including alcohol tracking tools, brief educational videos, skills training, and risk factor assessment and education. Phase I goals include developing the web-based screening tool and conducting usability testing with providers and potential end-users. A prototype of the mobile intervention will also be developed and usability tested with a sample of target end-users. Talaria, Inc. has successfully adapted evidence-based practices into self- directed web-based interventions with demonstrated effectiveness. For the present project, Talaria will collaborate with Produxs, a small mobile design and development company.

Public Health Relevance

There are approximately 79,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States making excessive alcohol use the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death for the nation. Screening and brief intervention (SBI) wit high risk alcohol users in primary care decreases alcohol consumption, improves alcohol-related outcomes such as emergency room visits and alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, and reduces associated medical costs. In order to promote uptake of SBI in primary care settings and streamline delivery of SBI, the proposed project would develop a web-based screening tool and mobile phone-based alcohol risk reduction intervention.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-RPHB-C (10))
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Falk, Daniel
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Talaria, Inc.
United States
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