Category: Addictive Behaviors


Symposium 136 - Developing, Refining, and Implementing Text-Message Interventions for At-Risk Populations

Sunday, November 19
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Aqua Salon E & F, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Addictive Behaviors | Alcohol | Technology / Mobile Health
Presentation Type: Symposium

Although there is strong evidence that web-based interventions for young adult alcohol use are effective (e.g., Carey et al., 2012; Cronce et al., 2014), young adults are increasingly using other forms of technology, including text messaging (Nielson Company, 2008; Smith, 2011). One promising modality that could assist effective delivery of brief alcohol interventions, especially among young adults not enrolled in a 4-year college, is mobile communication technology. Mobile phone-based interventions have now been established as an evidence-based, recommended approach towards substance use prevention, such as tobacco [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2011; Cunningham et al. 2011; Newman et al., 2011]. Mobile phone interventions may offer a cost-effective, readily available avenue to provide personalized substance abuse preventive and treatment support to young adults. Roughly 95% of young adults own a mobile phone, of which 97% use text messaging (TM), either sending or receiving an average of 110 messages on a normal day and over 3,000 in a typical month (Smith, 2011a).

Therefore, mobile phone TM offers an innovative technological approach to brief intervention with young adults in a mode in which they are familiar and fits into their busy lives. In addition, mobile phone interventions do not have the same barriers associated with traditional interventions, such as cost, transportation, and stigma. Utilizing TM as an intervention platform has primarily been conducted with 4-year college students and initial evidence has found them to be effective for concurrent drinking and smoking (DeMartini et al., 2015; Witkiewitz et al., 2014) and increasing readiness to change alcohol use (Mason et al., 2014).

 Although we are continuing to learn more about the ways in which TM interventions may lead to reductions in alcohol use, more research is needed to determine acceptability, feasibility, and efficacy of TM interventions using diverse methods and among diverse populations outside of traditional 4-year college students. As such, this symposium will present three novel studies that examine TM interventions among various populations and at different stages of intervention development, from feasibility and acceptability to randomized trials. Talks will include work on intervention development examining a 6-week TM intervention for community college students, research focused on developing a TM intervention for young adults presenting with substance use in emergency departments, and finally a CBT TM intervention for HIV-infected alcohol users.

Learning Objectives:

Jennifer Cadigan

Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Washington


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    Dana M. Litt

    Assistant Professor
    University of Washington


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      Matthew Martens

      University of Missouri


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        Beth Bock

        Brown University Medical School


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        Brian Suffoletto

        University of Pittsburgh


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        Suzette Glasner



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        Symposium 136 - Developing, Refining, and Implementing Text-Message Interventions for At-Risk Populations

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