As technology is becoming more personalized with various mobile applications for smartphones, researchers are also developing more ways for them to be beneficial. Now a recent study appearing in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) for psychiatry has examined an app that is used to help alcoholics remain sober following treatment.
This particular app was developed at Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and is called the Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (A-CHESS). The study compared 349 patients who met criteria for alcohol dependence. They all entered a residential treatment center, and then about half were given the app to assist with follow-up and recovery support.
The self-reported measurements were taken at 4, 8 and 12 months following discharge from the residential program. The A-CHESS app provided monitoring, information, communication and support services to patients who had it, including ways for them to stay in contact with treatment professionals as well as other members of support groups.
The results showed that those with the app showed considerably less percentage of risky drinking days than those who did not have it. The conclusion of the study was that having applications such as this one (which isn’t available commercially yet) can have a very positive impact on improving sobriety rates.
As reported by the Associated Press, one study participant said that it was “an absolutely amazing tool,” and that he was able to contact others who went through treatment with him for support. The connectivity function for both peers in recovery as well as counselors couple with the continual reminders of the goal of sobriety as well.