Breakingtheice: A protocol for a randomised controlled trial of an internet-based intervention addressing amphetamine-type stimulant use
1 Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
2 Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Australian National University, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
3 National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia
4 Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
5 Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:67 doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-67Published: 25 June 2012
The prevalence of amphetamine-type stimulant use is greater than that of opioids and cocaine combined. Currently, there are no approved pharmacotherapy treatments for amphetamine-type stimulant problems, but some face-to-face psychotherapies are of demonstrated effectiveness. However, most treatment services focus on alcohol or opioid disorders, have limited reach and may not appeal to users of amphetamine-type stimulants. Internet interventions have proven to be effective for some substance use problems but none has specifically targeted users of amphetamine-type stimulants.
The study will use a randomized controlled trial design to evaluate the effect of an internet intervention for amphetamine-type stimulant problems compared with a waitlist control group. The primary outcome will be assessed as amphetamine-type stimulant use (baseline, 3 and 6 months). Other outcomes measures will include ‘readiness to change’, quality of life, psychological distress (K-10 score), days out of role, poly-drug use, help-seeking intention and help-seeking behavior. The intervention consists of three modules requiring an estimated total completion time of 90 minutes. The content of the modules was adapted from face-to-face clinical techniques based on cognitive behavior therapy and motivation enhancement. The target sample is 160 men and women aged 18 and over who have used amphetamine-type stimulants in the last 3 months.
To our knowledge this will be the first randomized controlled trial of an internet intervention specifically developed for users of amphetamine-type stimulants. If successful, the intervention will offer greater reach than conventional therapies and may engage clients who do not generally seek treatment from existing service providers.