A comparison of three types of web-based inhibition training for the reduction of alcohol consumption in problem drinkers: Preliminary results

First published: 10/05/2019 | Last updated: May 20th, 2019

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Aims: Heavy drinkers have poor inhibitory control. Previous studies have demonstrated that various forms of single-session ‘inhibitory control training (ICT)’ can reduce alcohol consumption in the laboratory; however the effects of repeated training are unknown. We present preliminary findings from an ongoing trial examining effects of repeated ICT on alcohol use in heavy drinkers over a four week period.

Design: Individuals attended the laboratory and took part in a brief intervention before self-monitoring their alcohol use for one week. Upon return they were randomly allocated to one of four training groups: general inhibition training, cue-specific inhibition training, alcohol no-go training or a control group. Participants completed up to 14 training sessions at home via the web and recorded their alcohol consumption using an online diary, before returning to the laboratory.

Setting: University of Liverpool and individuals’ home / place of work.

Participants: Heavy drinkers (N=197) who were motivated to reduce their alcohol intake, from the local community.

Intervention: Brief intervention and self-monitoring, followed by ICT or control over a four week period.

Measurements: Total units of alcohol consumed during training.

Findings and Conclusions: A 3 (time: baseline, first two weeks, second two weeks of training) x (4: group:  general training, cue-specific training, alcohol no-go training, control) mixed ANOVA demonstrated a main effect of time (F(2,6)=83.75, p<.01),  but no significant time X group interaction (F(6,366)=1.59, p>.1) on units of alcohol consumed. Initial findings from this ongoing study suggest little evidence that repeated ICT administered outside of the laboratory reduces alcohol consumption.

Co-Authors

Dr Eric Robinson, University of Liverpool, UK Prof Matt Field, University of Liverpool, UK


Conflicts of interest:

Medical Research Council. The authors report no competing interests. ISRCTN55671858

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