Dr Claire Garnett
Claire Garnett is a researcher in the field of alcohol and smoking cessation, both in terms of the use of digital technologies to support behaviour change and the population level influences on these behaviours. Her research is underpinned by behavioural science and theory. She is a psychologist by background, completing her PhD in Health Psychology in 2017 before joining the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group as a Research Fellow.
A major focus of her research is on digital interventions to reduce hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption. As part of her PhD research, they developed and evaluated a theory- and evidence-based smartphone application – Drink Less – to reduce alcohol consumption, using a systematic and iterative process drawing on evidence and theory to inform its content. Its evaluation in a preliminary trial assessed the effectiveness of individual modules. Based on these findings and user feedback, the app has been updated and improved. The app is being used to provide insights into engagement with digital interventions, predictors of alcohol reduction and what makes an effective digital intervention. She also conducts research to provide insights into population-wide influences on smoking and smoking cessation.
Updating the Drink Less alcohol reduction smartphone application in response to user feedback and advances in software and technology with a view to evaluation and ongoing optimisation
With funding from the SSA, SPHR, UKCTAS and CRUK we have developed and undertaken a preliminary evaluation of the Drink Less alcohol reduction app. This app is now available free to iPhone users in the UK and there are over 13,000 unique users since May 2016. The next stage, and aim of the project, is to create an optimised version that will have been modified in response to the preliminary evaluation, and user requests and feedback. This will become part of an ongoing programme of optimisation and testing (part-funded by SPHR) to create a mature product with demonstrated effectiveness. Public Health England has expressed an interest in promoting the product once a satisfactory level of evidence for effectiveness has been achieved.