University of Twente Student Theses


The development of a protocol for integrating biocueing with the Sense-IT application in alcohol addiction treatment

Rouw, M. (2020) The development of a protocol for integrating biocueing with the Sense-IT application in alcohol addiction treatment.

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Abstract:Clients suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) often have difficulty staying aware and regulating their emotions. In order to increase awareness on craving, physiological arousal and stress, which is assumed to be related to relapse, it might be of interest to offer additional physiological monitoring and feedback to existing treatment. Sense-IT is an ambulatory biofeedback application that aims to increase awareness on the physiological processes elicited by arousal, emotions and cravings. Physiological aspects are not yet included in the existing addiction treatment program, which is mainly focused on cognition, suggesting integrating Sense-IT could add innovative aspects to the treatment program. Objective: In the current research, a protocol has been iteratively designed that would support the optimal implementation of the Sense-IT in the regular inpatient addiction treatment at Tactus, a Dutch healthcare organisation focused on addiction treatment. Methods: For this qualitative study, the protocol was designed using User Centred Design (UCD) in the existing Element-Method-Product- framework for developing prototypes as is in line with the methods used by the designers of Sense-IT. The current study was divided into two main cycles, one focused on professionals and one on clients. Within these cycles, three steps were created in order to design the protocol. The first step was conducting individual semi- structured interviews with five professionals based on which the concept version of the protocol was created. This version was presented for feedback to the professionals and a detailed version was constructed. The final step was to test the detailed version in a pilot with client of the inpatient addiction department within Tactus in order to come to the revised version of the protocol after evaluation of the detailed version. Results: The results show that Sense-IT can be integrated in the form of an intervention where a training with cravings, elicited by cue exposure, is offered in order to increase awareness of physiological processes during the experience of cravings or arousal induced by other factors. A complete and useful protocol was designed including all details, example questions and rationale regarding the intervention and can function as a manual for the executive therapist when offering the sessions. Conclusion: It was found that Sense-IT indeed could offer support in learning to recognise cravings, which implies that the main goal of integrating Sense-IT can be met when the designed protocol is applied. The revised version of the Sense-IT protocol is generally ready for further uptake and analysis showed that the applied research design is in line with existing approaches of integrating eHealth innovations into the existing treatment. The only 4 PROTOCOL DEVELOPMENT FOR INTEGRATING SENSE-IT barriers that stand in the way of integration are the limited resources within Tactus as evidenced by the fact that the researcher conducted the pilot. Recommended for Tactus is to look further into this issue and its possible solutions. For future research long term effectivity can be examined. it can be tested how this can be extended into the ambulatory treatment. Also, it can be tested how this can be extended into the ambulatory treatment, since it was estimated by the clients that the benefits would even be more significant in an ambulatory setting. Finally, for Tactus it is recommended to have an ambassador take the lead for further implementation of Sense-IT. Keywords: Protocol design, Addiction treatment, Sense-IT, Ambulatory biofeedback, Biocueing.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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