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Journal Article


Cunningham JA, Van Mierlo T. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2009; 28(1): 12-17.


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


(Copyright © 2009, John Wiley and Sons)






Introduction and Aims. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of Internet-based interventions (IBI) for alcohol problems and other addictive behaviours. However, it is risky to assume interventions that have been found to work in face-to-face modalities can be translated into IBI that are equally effective. Design and Methods. Using selected examples from the published works, this paper will identify some of the special considerations that are relevant to the evaluation of IBI. In addition, methodological issues found in the ongoing development and evaluation of the Check Your Drinking screener (, an IBI for problem drinkers, will be discussed. Results. There have been several randomised control trials with promising results. A primary limitation of much of the research conducted to date is concerns regarding the generalisability of the findings. Discussion and Conclusions. Caution should be taken in assuming that the IBI, which have been found to work in tightly controlled efficacy trials, will display similar levels of effectiveness when used in 'naturalistic' settings (i.e. not face-to-face in a research environment). Positive results from studies using a variety of different research designs will advance the potential for IBI, as a new means of helping problem drinkers reduce their alcohol consumption. Because of their accessibility and anonymity, IBI could facilitate a broad provision of treatment services at a population level.

Language: en


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