Background: Problem drinkers have poor inhibitory control (disinhibition). Previous studies have demonstrated that various forms of 'inhibition training' can reduce alcohol consumption in the laboratory and at short-term follow-up, but their longer-term efficacy and mechanisms of action are unknown. In this phase 2 randomised controlled trial we will contrast the effects of three forms of inhibition training and a control intervention, delivered via the Internet in multiple sessions over four weeks, on alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers. Methods/design: Heavy drinkers who are interested in reducing their alcohol consumption will receive a brief intervention and will monitor their own alcohol intake for one week before being randomised to one of four treatment groups: 1. General inhibition training; 2. Cue-Specific inhibition training; 3. Alcohol No-Go training; or 4. Control. They will complete up to 14 sessions of training via the Internet over a four-week period, and will be followed-up for a further six weeks after the end of the training period. Primary outcome measures are reductions in alcohol consumption and heavy drinking days. The number of abstinent days is a secondary outcome measure. We will also investigate changes in inhibitory control and automatic alcohol affective associations in response to training. Discussion: This study will establish if web-based inhibition training can help problem drinkers to reduce their alcohol intake, and it will identify which form(s) of inhibition training are most effective.
- Inhibitory control
- Inhibition training