A two part online therapeutic intervention, involving assessments, assignments, and contact with a therapist, intended to reduce or stop patients’ alcohol consumption.
Alcohol de Baas is an online therapy intervention consisting of two parts with support from a therapist. All components of the intervention are completed through the intervention’s website. Part one focuses on information about alcohol consumption and its risks and part two focuses on behavior change. At all parts of the program, patients have contact with a therapist that could help with the assignments and provide personalized feedback and advice. Part one includes four assignments and part two includes five assignments. Patients must complete each assignment before moving on to the next. The intervention takes an average of three months to complete and involves one to two interactions with a therapist per week. The intervention was initially offered in Dutch, but has now been adapted to English.
Link to English commercial site here.
Link to Dutch commercial site here.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Young Adults (18-30)
Effectiveness of a web-based intervention for problem drinkers and reasons for dropout: Randomized controlled trial.
Summary: This randomized control trial evaluated the effectiveness of the Alcohol de Baas intervention for reducing alcohol consumption, changing problem drinking behavior, and improving health status. 156 participants were randomized to receive the intervention or to a wait-list control group. Participants were recruited through the intervention’s website and national television coverage. Participants were over 18 years of age and were problem drinkers who had not received treatment in the past six months, and did not currently have a psychiatric disorder. Participants completed online assessments at baseline and a three-month follow-up that measured type and severity of substance dependence, health status, initial treatment motivation, and quality of life. Participants who did not complete all parts of the intervention or the three-month follow-up were sent a link to a questionnaire to assess reasons for drop-out. Participants who received the intervention significantly reduced their alcohol consumption, improved their health status, and were less likely to be problem drinkers at the three-month follow-up compared to the control group. Participants who completed the intervention had a higher readiness for treatment at baseline than participants who dropped out of the intervention and were more likely to have received treatment prior to the intervention. Fifty-four participants, 42 in the intervention group and 12 in the control group, dropped out of the study. Participants dropped out for unrelated personal reasons, because they were satisfied with the results that they had achieved, or because they were uncomfortable with the intervention.
Take Away: Alcohol de Baas may have short-term effectiveness for reducing alcohol consumption and improving health status in problem drinkers. Results point to increased focus on methods for improving engagement with technology-delivered interventions.
Follow-Up of Previous Study
A 9-month follow-up of a 3-month web-based alcohol treatment program using intensive asynchronous therapeutic support.
Summary: This follow-up study contacted participants from the randomized control trial of Alcohol de Baas at three, six, and nine months after the end of the intervention to evaluate long-term changes in alcohol consumption and health status. 144 participants had completed the baseline assessment, researchers included collected data from both the treatment group and the control group, who received the intervention after the treatment group finished the intervention. By nine months, participant retention was 40%. Weekly alcohol consumption initially fell at three months from 39.9 units per week to 11.4, then rose at six (15.1 units) and nine (19.5 units) months. Despite increases in consumption at six and nine months, weekly consumption at these time points was less than baseline. There were also significant improvements in depression, anxiety, and stress scores and general health scores at three months that were maintained at nine months.
Take Away: These results suggest that Alcohol de Baas can have long term effects on alcohol consumption and health status.
Summary: This pilot study for the Alcohol de Baas web-based intervention for problem drinkers recruited participants that visited the study website Researchers analyzed data from 527 participants who completed the baseline assessment, were problem drinkers and started the first part of the intervention. The baseline, posttreatment, six week, and six month follow up assessments measured alcohol consumption over the past week, problems with alcohol consumption, alcohol consumption related health complaints, readiness to change, and motivation for treatment. Of the 527 participants who started the first part of the intervention, 263 participants started the second part of the intervention, 173 participants finished the intervention, 125 completed follow up at six weeks and, 75 completed follow up at six months. Participants who dropped out during part one drank more, used drugs more, were less likely to be employed, and were younger than the participants who continued to part two of the intervention. Patients who dropped out of part two drank more, had lower readiness for change, and had lower treatment readiness than participants who completed treatment. More than half of participants achieved their goal. Participants who completed the intervention significantly decreased their weekly alcohol consumption and participants assessed at six weeks and six months showed similar decreases in alcohol consumption. Participants who completed the intervention also reported changes in 8 out of 12 alcohol consumption-related health variables. Participants who completed the intervention reported being satisfied with the intervention.
Take Away: Participants reported being satisfied with the Alcohol de Baas intervention and the intervention may be effective at reducing alcohol consumption and alcohol consumption related health complaints. Possible interpretations of results are limited because of the high dropout rates.