The Feasibility and Acceptability of an Online Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention Program

Project Info

Project Description

Sanchez, R.P., Bartel, C.M. (in press). The Feasibility and Acceptability of “Arise”: An Online Substance Abuse Relapse Prevention Program. Games for Health.

The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and acceptability of a novel online adolescent substance abuse relapse prevention tool. The program uses an innovative platform including interactive instructional segments and skill building games to help adolescents learn and practice coping skills training strategies. We conducted a pilot test with adolescents in substance abuse treatment and a feasibility test with treatment providers. Both groups interacted with the program via a secure website. All participants completed a questionnaire with items assessing usability, acceptability, understanding, and subjective experience of the program. Regarding feasibility, recruitment of this population within the study constraints proved challenging, but participant retention in the trial was high (no attrition). Adolescents and treatment providers completed the program with no reported problems, and overall we were able to collect data as planned. Regarding acceptability, the program received strong ratings from both adolescents and providers, who found the prototype informative, engaging, and appealing. Both groups strongly recommended continuing development.

Conclusion: We were able to deliver the intervention as intended and acceptability ratings were high, demonstrating the feasibility and acceptability of online delivery of engaging interactive interventions. This study contributes to our understanding of how interactive technologies including games can be used to modify behavior in substance abuse treatment and other health areas.

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