A randomized controlled trial of inhibitory control training for the reduction of alcohol consumption in problem drinkers

Andrew Jones, Elly McGrath, Eric Robinson, Katrijn Houben, Chantal Nederkoorn, Matt Field*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

24 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective: We conducted a randomized controlled trial to compare the effects of three types of Internet-delivered Inhibitory Control Training (ICT) with each other and with an active control intervention on alcohol consumption in a community sample of problem drinkers. Method: Two hundred and 46 heavy drinkers, who were motivated to reduce their alcohol consumption (mean age 41.32, 130 female) self-monitored their alcohol consumption for 1 week before being randomized to receive 1 of 3 variants of ICT (Associative No-Go, Associative Stop Signal, General Inhibition) or an active control. Participants then completed up to 14 ICT/control sessions on the Internet over a 4-week period, while regularly recording their alcohol consumption. Results: There were significant reductions in alcohol consumption across all groups over the 4-week training period (main effect of time, F(2, 402) = 77.12, p <.01, eta(2)(p) = .28, BF10 > 99), however there were no differences between ICT groups, or between ICT groups and the active control group (Group x Time interaction, F(6, 402) = 1.10, p = .36, eta(2)(p) = .02, BF10 = 0.03). Contrary to hypotheses, there were no changes in general inhibitory control, the disinhibiting effects of alcohol cues, or alcohol affective associations after ICT. Conclusions: In this study, which attempted to translate findings from proof-of-concept laboratory studies into a viable behavior change intervention, we found that multiple sessions of ICT delivered over the Internet did not help heavy drinkers to reduce their alcohol consumption beyond nonspecific effects associated with taking part in a trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)991-1004
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume86
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • E-health intervention
  • inhibitory control training
  • RESPONSE-INHIBITION
  • STOP-SIGNAL
  • SELF-CONTROL
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS
  • BRIEF INTERVENTION
  • BIAS MODIFICATION
  • EATING BEHAVIOR
  • CUE EXPOSURE
  • DRINKING
  • IMPULSIVITY
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Behavior Therapy/methods
  • Alcohol Drinking/prevention & control
  • Motivation
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Inhibition (Psychology)
  • Cues
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders/prevention & control
  • Telemedicine/methods
  • Internet

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