Evaluating real-time internet therapy and online self-help for problematic alcohol consumers: a three-arm RCT protocol

Blankers, Matthijs; Koeter, Maarten; Schippers, Gerard M.
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p16
Academic Journal
Background: Only a minority of all alcohol- and drug abusers is receiving professional care. In an attempt to narrow this treatment gap, treatment facilities experiment with online healthcare. Therefore, it is important to test the (cost-)effectiveness of online health interventions in a randomized clinical trial. Methods: This paper presents the protocol of a three-arm randomized clinical trial to test the (cost-) effectiveness of online treatment for problem drinkers. Self-help online, therapy online and a waiting list are tested against each other. Primary outcome is change in alcohol consumption. Secondary outcome measures include quality of life and working ability. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for self-help online alcohol and therapy online alcohol will be calculated. The predictive validity of participant characteristics on treatment adherence and outcome will be explored. Discussion: To our best knowledge, this randomized clinical trial will be the first to test the effectiveness of therapy online against both self-help online and a waiting-list. It will provide evidence on (cost-) effectiveness of online treatment for problem drinkers and investigate outcome predictors. Trial registration: This trial is registered in the Dutch Trialregister (Cochrane Collaboration) and traceable as NTR-TC1155.


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