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🍹 App helps those who want to drink less

🍹 App helps those who want to drink less

An app helped those who drank a lot of alcohol to reduce their consumption by 25 percent.

Kent Olofsson
Kent Olofsson

Approximately 15 percent of adults in Sweden drink so much alcohol that it can be defined as risky consumption with an increased risk of various diseases, accidents and premature death. For many it is therefore important to drink less, but it can be difficult for some to find the help they need.

"Those who want to stop smoking are encouraged and supported by those around them, but it is stigmatized to talk about wanting to stop drinking alcohol. There is a perception that one should be able to manage their alcohol consumption and many people do not seek help even if they want to change their behavior", says Marcus Bendtsen, senior lecturer at Linköping University.

To simplify the reduce of alcohol consumption, Marcus Bendtsen and other researchers at Linköping University have developed an app. The app sent a message every week where the participants in the study had to state how much alcohol they had drank during the week.

They also had to set goals for how much alcohol they would drink during the week and could then compare it with the actual result. In the app, the participants could also write messages to themselves about, for example, being careful not to drink too much, and the app then sent a reminder at a certain time, for example a Saturday night.

"At the start of the study, the participants stated that it was very important for them to reduce their consumption of alcohol, but most indicated that they did not know how to do it. Those who gained access to the digital intervention began to feel more confident that they know what to actually do to change their behavior", says Marcus Bendtsen.

In the study, half the group got access to the app while the other half didn't get access to the app.

"Those who had the digital support had approximately 25 percent lower alcohol consumption than the group that did not receive the support, which is a somewhat greater effect than we had expected. This kind of support will not change the overall picture of society in terms of alcohol consumption, but it is a very good support for individuals who want to change their own lives",
says Marcus Bendtsen.

The researchers will now go ahead and develop the app so that it will be available to everyone in the future. They also want to make it possible to adapt the support to each individual's needs.

Read the entire study here.