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AlcoChange: A digital therapeutic for patients with alcohol-related liver disease

Mehta, Gautam; Lin, Su; Nadar, Aida; PV, Bharadwaj; Kumar, Ravi; Balaji, Anu; Macdonald, Stewart; ... Jalan, Rajiv; + view all (2024) AlcoChange: A digital therapeutic for patients with alcohol-related liver disease. JHEP Reports , 6 (4) , Article 100993. 10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100993. Green open access

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Abstract

Background & Aims: Maintenance of abstinence in alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) is a major unmet therapeutic need. Digital therapeutics can deliver ongoing behavioural therapy, in real-time, for chronic conditions. The aim of this project was to develop and clinically test AlcoChange, a novel digital therapeutic for ARLD. // Methods: AlcoChange was developed using validated behaviour change techniques and a digital alcohol breathalyser. This was an open-label, single-centre study. Patients with ARLD, ongoing alcohol use (within 1 month) and possession of a suitable smartphone were eligible. Patients were recruited from inpatient and outpatient settings, and received AlcoChange therapy for 3 months. The primary outcome was reduction in alcohol use from baseline to 3 months, measured by timeline follow-back. Secondary outcomes included: (i) compliance with the AlcoChange app, (ii) alcohol-related and all-cause hospital re-admissions up to 1 year, (iii) qualitative analysis to determine factors associated with compliance. // Results: Sixty-five patients were recruited, of whom 41 completed the study per protocol. Patients compliant with the intervention (>60 logins over 3 months) had a significant reduction in alcohol use from baseline compared to non-compliant patients (median [IQR]: -100% [100% to -55.1%] vs. -57.1% [-95.3% to +32.13%], p = 0.029). The proportion attaining abstinence at 3 months was higher in the compliant group (57.1% vs. 22.2%, p = 0.025). The compliant group had a significantly decreased risk of subsequent alcohol-related re-admission up to 12 months (p = 0.008). Qualitative analysis demonstrated that receiving in-app feedback and the presence of a health-related ‘sentinel event’ were predictors of compliance with the intervention. // Conclusions: Use of the novel digital therapeutic, AlcoChange, was associated with a significant reduction in alcohol use and an increase in the proportion of patients with ARLD attaining abstinence. Definitive randomised trials are warranted for this intervention. // Impact and implications: Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD) is an increasing health problem worldwide. The main cause of death and disability in ARLD is ongoing alcohol consumption, but few patients receive medications or talking therapy to maintain abstinence. This study demonstrated that a digital therapeutic, linked to a smartphone, may help reduce alcohol consumption and alcohol-related hospital admissions in these patients. If validated in larger, randomised, trials, digital therapeutics may have a role in the primary and secondary prevention of complicatons from ARLD.

Type: Article
Title: AlcoChange: A digital therapeutic for patients with alcohol-related liver disease
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100993
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100993
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Alcohol-related liver disease; alcohol; digital health; digital therapeutic; smartphone
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Primary Care and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10188683
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