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1.
J Subst Abuse Treat ; 138: 108732, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1907369

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, online video platforms became the primary mode of accessing substance use-focused mutual-help group meetings, which may persist after in-person meetings are available again. This study examined the characteristics (demographic, substance use and recovery, and mutual-help group use) of attendees of online recovery support meetings, and associations of online meeting attendance with substance use outcomes, using national data (without ensured representativeness) collected before the pandemic. METHODS: Data were from the Peer Alternatives in Addiction (PAL) Study of attendees of 12-step groups (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous), Women for Sobriety (WFS), LifeRing Secular Recovery (LifeRing), and SMART Recovery (SMART). The baseline sample, collected in 2015 (pre-pandemic), was 647 adults with lifetime alcohol use disorder who were surveyed online at baseline and 6-month (81%) and 12-month follow-up (83%). RESULTS: At baseline, 62% (n = 402) had attended an online mutual-help group meeting in their lifetime, and 36% (n = 236) had done so in the past 30 days. Bivariate analyses found that online meeting attendance was more likely among women than men, younger than older participants, and participants with more recent alcohol and drug use, and less abstinence self-efficacy. In addition, online meeting attendance was more likely among respondents who attended two or more different types of mutual-help groups (rather than just one type), and whose primary group was 12-step or WFS rather than LifeRing or SMART. Longitudinal analyses found an interaction between online meeting attendance (yes or no) and time on the outcomes of alcohol and total abstinence such that, compared to those who did not attend online meetings, online meeting attendees were less likely to be abstinent at baseline but were about the same on abstinence at 12 months. However, the interaction effect was attenuated when the model adjusted for mutual-help use characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: The findings inform mutual-help groups, providers, and researchers' efforts to sustain and expand this resource by suggesting that online meeting attendance may have appeal and be helpful to mutual-help group members who are earlier in their recovery.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Adult , Alcoholics Anonymous , Alcoholism/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Self-Help Groups
2.
Alcohol Clin Exp Res ; 46(6): 1073-1083, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901549

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Digital recovery support services (D-RSS) use technology to engage individuals seeking recovery from alcohol use disorder (AUD). Given sparse data on use of these emergent services as well as longstanding and stark gender disparities in use of traditional alcohol treatment services, we sought to quantify lifetime and current D-RSS use and to test associations with several recovery outcomes, with particular attention to gender differences. METHODS: We analyzed data obtained in fall 2020 in a national survey of adults with a resolved alcohol problem (n = 1487). We estimated lifetime and current D-RSS use, prevalence of various types of D-RSS, and related outcomes (e.g., recovery stability, relapse events, quality of life). Stratified logistic regression models identified correlates of D-RSS use for women and men, controlling for demographic and AUD characteristics. RESULTS: Overall, an estimated 14.9% of the population of adults with a resolved alcohol problem reported lifetime use of D-RSS, with no difference by gender. Current use was lower and was reported by more men than women (9.9% vs. 5.8%, respectively). Men had higher odds of D-RSS use if they had <1 year of recovery (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 7.84), 1 to 5 years of recovery (aOR 2.17), and if never married (aOR 3.29). Among women, higher odds of D-RSS were associated with AUD symptom count (aOR 1.30), being unemployed (aOR 9.85), and having minor children in the household (aOR 3.58). Among women, there was no association between D-RSS use and recovery stability, relapse events, and quality of life. However, among men D-RSS use was associated with reporting that the COVID-19 pandemic had made it more difficult to resist alcohol or drugs and with lower self-reported quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: D-RSS are a promising technological approach to support recovery. There is room to increase their use, and gender-specific approaches may be needed given different correlates of use for women and men. In addition, further research is needed to explore whether D-RSS may confer benefits through similar mechanisms as in-person recovery services.


Subject(s)
Alcohol-Related Disorders , Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Adult , Alcohol-Related Disorders/epidemiology , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/therapy , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Prevalence , Quality of Life , Recurrence , Sex Factors
3.
BMJ Open ; 12(5): e060498, 2022 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854359

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: In the UK, alcohol use is the main driver of chronic liver disease and each year results in over 1 million unplanned hospital admissions and over 25 000 deaths from alcohol-related liver disease (ArLD). The only effective treatment to prevent progression of liver damage is reducing or ceasing alcohol consumption. Psychological and pharmacological therapies for alcohol misuse are ineffective in patients with ArLD. Functional imagery training (FIT) is a novel psychological therapy that builds on motivational interviewing techniques with multisensory imagery. This pilot trial aims to test the feasibility of training alcohol liaison nurses to deliver FIT therapy and of recruiting and retaining patients with ArLD and alcohol dependence to a randomised trial of FIT and treatment as usual (TAU) versus TAU alone. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This is a randomised pilot trial of FIT and TAU versus TAU alone in 90 patients with ArLD and alcohol dependence admitted to one of four UK centres. The primary objectives are to estimate rates of screening, recruitment, randomisation, retention, adherence to FIT/TAU and a preliminary assessment of the FIT intervention in the ArLD population. Data from the pilot study will be used to finalise the design of a definitive randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of FIT. The proposed primary outcome measure for the definitive trial is self-reported alcohol use assessed using timeline follow-back. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Research ethics approval was given by the Yorkshire and Humber-Bradford Leeds Research Ethics Committee (reference: 21/YH/0044). Eligible patients will be approached and written informed consent obtained prior to participation. Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed open access journals, international conferences and a lay summary published on the Trials Unit website and made available to patient groups. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN41353774.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , Liver Diseases, Alcoholic , Alcoholism/complications , Alcoholism/therapy , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Pilot Projects , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Syndrome
4.
BMC Psychiatry ; 22(1): 228, 2022 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1770512

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: People with substance use disorders may be at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 infection and developing medical complications. Several institutional and governmental health agencies across the world developed ad hoc guidance for substance use disorder services and care of individuals misusing substances. We aimed to synthesise the best available recommendations on management and care of people with or at risk of substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic from existing guidelines published in UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Singapore. METHODS: We systematically searched existing guidelines and websites from 28 international institutions and governmental bodies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic (May 4th 2021). We summarized the extracted data as answers to specific clinical questions. RESULTS: We organised the available recommendations from 19 sources in three sections. First, we focused on general advice and recommendations for people who misuse alcohol or drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the design of contingency plans, safeguarding issues for children and families of service users and advice to the public, patients, and carers. Then, we summarised specific guidelines for people who use illicit drugs and related services, such as opioid substitution treatment and needle and syringe programmes. Finally, we provided a synthesis on specific recommendations for services supporting people who misuse alcohol and key topics in the field, such as management of alcohol detoxification and safe transition between supervised and unsupervised consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Available guidance reflected different approaches, ranging from being extremely cautious in providing recommendations other than generic statements to proposing adaptation of previously available guidelines to confront the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. After the early phase, guidance focused on reduction of infection transmission and service delivery. Guidance did not provide advice on infection prevention via vaccination programmes and service access strategies tailored to individuals with substance use disorders.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Alcoholism/psychology , Alcoholism/therapy , Child , Guidelines as Topic , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology
5.
Addict Biol ; 27(1): e13090, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556187

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) first emerged in China in November 2019. Most governments have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by imposing a lockdown. Some evidence suggests that a period of isolation might have led to a spike in alcohol misuse, and in the case of patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD), social isolation can favour lapse and relapse. The aim of our position paper is to provide specialists in the alcohol addiction field, in psychopharmacology, gastroenterology and in internal medicine, with appropriate tools to better manage patients with AUD and COVID-19,considering some important topics: (a) the susceptibility of AUD patients to infection; (b) the pharmacological interaction between medications used to treat AUD and to treat COVID-19; (c) the reorganization of the Centre for Alcohol Addiction Treatment for the management of AUD patients in the COVID-19 era (group activities, telemedicine, outpatients treatment, alcohol-related liver disease and liver transplantation, collecting samples); (d) AUD and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Telemedicine/telehealth will undoubtedly be useful/practical tools even though it remains at an elementary level; the contribution of the family and of caregivers in the management of AUD patients will play a significant role; the multidisciplinary intervention involving experts in the treatment of AUD with specialists in the treatment of COVID-19 disease will need implementation. Thus, the COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly leading addiction specialists towards a new governance scenario of AUD, which necessarily needs an in-depth reconsideration, focusing attention on a safe approach in combination with the efficacy of treatment.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control , Alcoholics Anonymous , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Disease Susceptibility , Drug Interactions , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic/epidemiology , Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic/therapy , Liver Transplantation , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Societies, Medical , Telemedicine
6.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259525, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496541

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Alcohol and substance misuse are a public health priority. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that harmful alcohol use accounts for 5.1% of the global burden of disease and that 35.6 million people worldwide are affected by substance misuse. The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has disrupted delivery of face-to-face alcohol and substance misuse interventions and has forced the development of alternative remote interventions or adaptation to existing ones. Although existing research on remote interventions suggests they might be as effective as face-to-face delivery, there has been a lack of systematic exploration of their content, the experience of service users, and their effectiveness for behavioural outcomes. This review will provide a narrative synthesis of the behaviour change techniques (BCT) contained in interventions for alcohol and/or substance misuse and their association with effectiveness. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Systematic searches will be conducted in MEDLINE, Scopus, PsycINFO (ProQuest), and the Cochrane Library. Included studies will be those reporting remote interventions focusing on alcohol and/or substance misuse among adults living in the community and which have a primary behaviour change outcome (i.e., alcohol levels consumed). Data extraction will be conducted by one author and moderated by a second, and risk of bias and behaviour change technique (BCT) coding will be conducted by two authors independently. A narrative synthesis will be undertaken focussing upon the association of BCTs with intervention effectiveness using promise ratios. PATIENT AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT (PPI): The Public Involvement in Research Group (PIRG), part of the NIHR-funded PHIRST, will be involved in refining the review questions, eligibility criteria, data synthesis and dissemination. DISSEMINATION: Dissemination will be through an academic peer reviewed publication, alongside other outputs to be shared with non-academic policy, professional, and public audiences, including local authorities, service users and community organisations.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/therapy , Behavior Therapy , Internet-Based Intervention , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Ethanol , Humans , Internet-Based Intervention/trends
7.
AIDS Behav ; 26(2): 523-536, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333082

ABSTRACT

This randomized controlled trial tested the efficacy of a multi-session, evidence-based, lay counselor-delivered transdiagnostic therapy, the Common Elements Treatment Approach (CETA), in reducing unhealthy alcohol use and comorbidities among persons living with HIV (PLWH) in Zambia. Adult PLWH with (a) unhealthy alcohol use plus mental health or substance use comorbidities, or (b) severe unhealthy alcohol use were randomized to receive a single-session alcohol brief intervention (BI) alone or BI plus referral to CETA. Outcomes were measured at baseline and a 6-month follow-up and included Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score (primary), depression and trauma symptoms, and other substance use (secondary). We enrolled 160 participants; 78 were randomized to BI alone and 82 to BI plus CETA. Due to COVID-19, the trial ended early before 36 participants completed. Statistically and clinically significant reductions in mean AUDIT score from baseline to 6-month follow-up were observed in both groups, however, participants assigned to BI plus CETA had significantly greater reductions compared to BI alone (- 3.2, 95% CI - 6.2 to - 0.1; Cohen's d: 0.48). The CETA effect size for AUDIT score increased in line with increasing mental health/substance use comorbidity (0 comorbidities d = 0.25; 1-2 comorbidities d = 0.36; 3+ comorbidities d = 1.6). Significant CETA treatment effects were observed for depression, trauma, and several other substances. BI plus referral to CETA was feasible and superior to BI alone for unhealthy alcohol use among adults with HIV, particularly among those with comorbidities. Findings support future effectiveness testing of CETA for HIV outcomes among PLWH with unhealthy alcohol use.Clinical Trials Number: NCT03966885.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , HIV Infections , Adult , Alcoholism/complications , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/therapy , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Zambia/epidemiology
8.
Hepatology ; 73(5): 1688-1700, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332969

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is associated with microbial alterations that worsen with cirrhosis. Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) could be a promising approach. APPROACH AND RESULTS: In this phase 1, double-blind, randomized clinical trial, patients with AUD-related cirrhosis with problem drinking (AUDIT-10 > 8) were randomized 1:1 into receiving one placebo or FMT enema from a donor enriched in Lachnospiraceae and Ruminococcaceae. Six-month safety was the primary outcome. Alcohol craving questionnaire, alcohol consumption (urinary ethylglucuronide/creatinine), quality of life, cognition, serum IL-6 and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, plasma/stool short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), and stool microbiota were tested at baseline and day 15. A 6-month follow-up with serious adverse event (SAE) analysis was performed. Twenty patients with AUD-related cirrhosis (65 ± 6.4 years, all men, Model for End-Stage Liver Disease 8.9 ± 2.7) with similar demographics, cirrhosis, and AUD severity were included. Craving reduced significantly in 90% of FMT versus 30% in placebo at day 15 (P = 0.02) with lower urinary ethylglucuronide/creatinine (P = 0.03) and improved cognition and psychosocial quality of life. There was reduction in serum IL-6 and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein and increased butyrate/isobutyrate compared with baseline in FMT but not placebo. Microbial diversity increased with higher Ruminococcaceae and other SCFAs, producing taxa following FMT but not placebo, which were linked with SCFA levels. At 6 months, patients with any SAEs (8 vs. 2, P = 0.02), AUD-related SAEs (7 vs. 1, P = 0.02), and SAEs/patient (median [interquartile range], 1.5 [1.25] vs. 0 [0.25] in FMT, P = 0.02) were higher in placebo versus FMT. CONCLUSIONS: This phase 1 trial shows that FMT is safe and associated with short-term reduction in alcohol craving and consumption with favorable microbial changes versus placebo in patients with alcohol-associated cirrhosis with alcohol misuse. There was also a reduction in AUD-related events over 6 months in patients assigned to FMT.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/therapy , Fecal Microbiota Transplantation , Aged , Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology , Craving , Double-Blind Method , Fecal Microbiota Transplantation/methods , Gastrointestinal Microbiome , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Surveys and Questionnaires , Treatment Outcome
9.
Am J Emerg Med ; 50: 156-159, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330535

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS) is a serious consequence of alcohol use disorder (AUD). Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic there was a closure of Pennsylvania (PA) liquor stores on March 17, 2020. METHODS: This is a retrospective, observational study of AWS patients presenting to a tertiary care hospital. We used descriptive statistics for continuous and categorical variables and compared AWS consults placed to the medical toxicology service for six months preceding liquor store closure to those placed between March 17, 2020 and August 31, 2020. We compared this to consults placed to the medical toxicology service placed from October 1, 2019 through March 16, 2020. Charts were identified based on consults placed to the medical toxicology service, and alcohol withdrawal was determined via chart review by a medical toxicologist. This study did not require IRB approval. We evaluated Emergency Department (ED) length of stay (LOS), weekly and monthly consultation rate, rate of admission and ED recidivism, both pre- and post-liquor store closure. RESULTS: A total of 324 AWS consults were placed during the ten month period. 142 (43.8%) and 182 (56.2%) consults were pre- and post-liquor store closure. The number of consults was not statistically significant comparing these two time frames. There was no significant difference by patient age, gender, or race or by weekly or monthly consultation rate when comparing pre- and post-liquor store periods. The median ED LOS was 7 h (95% Confidence Interval (CI) Larson et al. (2012), Pollard et al. (2020) [5, 11]) and did not significantly differ between pre- and post-liquor store periods (p = 0.78). 92.9% of AWS patients required admission without significant difference between the pre- and post-liquor store closure periods (94.4% vs. 91.8%, p = 0.36). There was a significant increase in the number of AWS patients requiring a return ED visit (Odds Ratio 2.49; 95% CI [1.38, 4.49]) post closure. CONCLUSION: There were nearly 2.5 times greater odds of ED recidivism among post-liquor store closure AWS patients compared with pre-closure AWS patients.


Subject(s)
Alcoholic Beverages , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Referral and Consultation/statistics & numerical data , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/epidemiology , Adult , Alcoholism/diagnosis , Alcoholism/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Facilities and Services Utilization , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pennsylvania/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/diagnosis , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/therapy , Young Adult
10.
Subst Abus ; 42(2): 140-147, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180374

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 crisis presents new challenges and opportunities in managing alcohol use disorders, particularly for people unable to shelter in place due to homelessness or other reasons. Requiring abstinence for shelter engagement is impractical for many with severe alcohol use disorders and poses a modifiable barrier to self-isolation orders. Managed alcohol programs (MAPs) have successfully increased housing adherence for those with physical alcohol dependence in Canada, but to our knowledge, they have not been implemented in the United States. To avoid life-threatening alcohol withdrawal syndromes and to support adherence to COVID-19 self-isolation and quarantine orders, MAPs were piloted by the public health departments of San Francisco and Alameda counties. Development of MAPs: We describe implementation of a first-in-the-nation alcohol use disorder intervention of a MAP that emerged at three public health isolation settings within San Francisco and Alameda counties in California. All three interventions utilized a similar process to develop the protocol and implement the MAP that included identification of champions for system-level advocacy and engagement of stakeholders. Implementation of MAPs: We describe the creation and implementation of the distinct protocols. We provide examples of iterative changes to workflow processes and key lessons learned pertaining to protocol development, acceptability by stakeholders, alcohol procurement, documentation, and assessment. We discuss safety considerations, noting that there were no deaths or serious adverse events in any of the patients of the MAP during the 2-month implementation period. Conclusions: MAP pilots have been implemented in the US to aid adherence to isolation and quarantine setting guidelines. Lessons learned provide a foundation for their expansion as a recognized public health intervention for individuals with severe alcohol use disorders who are unable to stabilize within existing care systems. Based on the success of MAP implementation, efforts are under way to investigate alcohol management in homeless populations more broadly.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Harm Reduction , Homeless Persons , Housing , Quarantine/methods , Substance Withdrawal Syndrome/prevention & control , Alcohol Abstinence , California , Central Nervous System Depressants/adverse effects , Central Nervous System Depressants/therapeutic use , Communicable Disease Control , Ethanol/adverse effects , Ethanol/therapeutic use , Humans , Implementation Science , Pilot Projects , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco , Stakeholder Participation , Workflow
11.
Subst Abus ; 42(2): 205-212, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1120629

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has exacerbated income inequality, structural racism, and social isolation-issues that drive addiction and have previously manifested in the epidemic of opioid-associated overdose. The co-existence of these epidemics has necessitated care practice changes, including the use of telehealth-based encounters for the diagnosis and management of opioid use disorder (OUD). METHODS: We describe the development of the "Addiction Telehealth Program" (ATP), a telephone-based program to reduce treatment access barriers for people with substance use disorders staying at San Francisco's COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine (I&Q) sites. Telehealth encounters were documented in the electronic medical record and an internal tracking system for the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) COVID-19 Containment Response. Descriptive statistics were collected on a case series of patients initiated on buprenorphine at I&Q sites and indicators of feasibility were measured. RESULTS: Between April 10 and May 25, 2020, ATP consulted on the management of opioid, alcohol, GHB, marijuana, and stimulant use for 59 I&Q site guests. Twelve patients were identified with untreated OUD and newly prescribed buprenorphine. Of these, all were marginally housed, 67% were Black, and 58% had never previously been prescribed medications for OUD. Four self-directed early discharge from I&Q-1 prior to and 3 after initiating buprenorphine. Of the remaining 8 patients, 7 reported continuing to take buprenorphine at the time of I&Q discharge and 1 discontinued. No patients started on buprenorphine sustained significant adverse effects, required emergency care, or experienced overdose. CONCLUSIONS: ATP demonstrates the feasibility of telephone-based management of OUD among a highly marginalized patient population in San Francisco and supports the implementation of similar programs in areas of the U.S. where access to addiction treatment is limited. Legal changes permitting the prescribing of buprenorphine via telehealth without the requirement of an in-person visit should persist beyond the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/therapy , COVID-19 , Homeless Persons , Marijuana Abuse/therapy , Opiate Substitution Treatment/methods , Opioid-Related Disorders/therapy , Quarantine , Telemedicine/methods , Adult , Analgesics, Opioid/therapeutic use , Buprenorphine/therapeutic use , Delivery of Health Care , Feasibility Studies , Female , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Methadone/therapeutic use , Middle Aged , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco , Sodium Oxybate , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telephone
13.
Health Informatics J ; 26(4): 3201-3214, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067149

ABSTRACT

Rates of PTSD remain elevated among U.S. Veterans, highlighting a need for innovative management tools. Previous studies have shown mobile apps to have positive effects on PTSD symptoms, but few apps have been examined systematically. This pilot study evaluated the perceived effectiveness and usability of Mindset, a novel mobile app that monitors user stress level via heart rate to encourage e-therapy use. The study sample included 30 community-residing Veterans who completed baseline assessments. They used the Mindset app and associated smartwatch until their approximate 1-month follow-up. Self-reported assessments included pre- and post-deployment experiences; experience with Mindset; and standard screeners for PTSD (PCL-M), anxiety (GAD-7), depression (PHQ-9), and alcohol use problems (AUDIT). Among the 24 participants who completed follow-up interviews, a significant decrease (p < 0.05) was found in PCL-M, PHQ-9, and modified AUDIT scores. Respondents reported moderate to high acceptance and satisfaction with Mindset features, though considerable frustration with the associated smartwatch. These findings highlight mHealth apps such as Mindset as potentially useful tools for PTSD and depression symptom management. These findings are also encouraging in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, which may accelerate further innovation and implementation of mHealth technologies to improve mental health self-care.


Subject(s)
Mental Health , Mobile Applications , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/therapy , Telemedicine/methods , Veterans/psychology , Adult , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/therapy , Anxiety/epidemiology , Anxiety/therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Depression/epidemiology , Depression/therapy , Female , Heart Rate/physiology , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Patient Satisfaction , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress, Psychological/epidemiology , Stress, Psychological/physiopathology
17.
Hepatology ; 72(3): 1102-1108, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-812753

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a tremendous global impact since it began in November of 2019. However, there are concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic will not affect all equally and that some populations will be particularly vulnerable. Relevant to liver disease, patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) may be among the populations that are the most severely impacted. The reasons for this include being at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection due to a depressed immune system and high-risk underlying comorbidities, the injurious effect of COVID-19 on the liver, the inability to attend regular visits with providers, diversion of hospital resources, and social isolation leading to psychological decompensation and increased drinking or relapse. As a result, we fear that there will be a dramatic rising tide of alcohol relapse, admissions for decompensated ALD, and an increase in newly diagnosed patients with AUD/ALD post-COVID-19 pandemic. Providers and their institutions should implement preemptive strategies such as telehealth and aggressive patient outreach programs now to curb this anticipated problem. Liver transplantation (LT) centers should adapt to the pandemic by considering leniency to some LT candidates with ALD who cannot access appropriate alcohol treatment due to the current situation. In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be especially detrimental to patients with AUD/ALD, and actions need to be taken now to limit the scope of this anticipated problem.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism/complications , COVID-19/etiology , Liver Diseases, Alcoholic/complications , SARS-CoV-2 , Alcohol Drinking , Alcoholism/therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Liver Diseases, Alcoholic/therapy , Liver Transplantation , Physical Distancing , Telemedicine
18.
Int J Drug Policy ; 85: 102940, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758739

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Since 25th March 2020 India went into a complete and extended lockdown. Alcohol production, sales, and purchase were barred with this overnight prohibition order. We conducted a qualitative analysis of the media reports published within the first month of the nationwide lockdown with the objectives (a) using the media reports as indications of possible public health impact and population response of a sudden alcohol prohibition in India, (b) suggesting areas for future research. METHODS: We performed thematic and content analysis of 350 articles published online in national newspapers between the 26th March, 2020 and 25th April, 2020. Initial inductive, followed by deductive coding was done in this exploratory thematic analysis. RESULTS: The thematic analysis revealed four main themes: the beneficial aspects of the policy, the harmful aspects of the policy, non-compliance and attempts to change and / or subvert the policy, popularity and level of public buy-in of the policy. We generated relevant sub-themes under main themes. Two additional themes, not directly related to the sudden prohibition, were use of stigmatizing language and ethical concerns. The content analysis showed the frequency of the appearance of the main themes and proportions of sub-themes and codes under those main themes. CONCLUSION: The harms, perceived from the media reports, should be balanced against the potential benefits. Absence of a national-level alcohol policy was made apparent by the reflexive, disconnected, and conflictual measures. Future research could systematically examine the potential ramifications of alcohol prohibition on public health, social, and economic aspects.


Subject(s)
Alcohol Drinking/legislation & jurisprudence , COVID-19 , Newspapers as Topic , Pandemics , Public Policy , Quarantine/psychology , Alcoholic Beverages , Alcoholism/epidemiology , Alcoholism/therapy , Humans , India , Internet , Legislation, Medical , Patient Acceptance of Health Care , Public Health , Self-Help Groups
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