Authors: Anna Grager, Steph Kershaw, Madeleine Keaveny, Bronte Speirs, Dara Sampson, Kate Ross, Nicola Newton, Maree Teesson, Hannah Wells, Jessica Wilson, Caitlin Bray, Cath Chapman, Frances Kay-Lambkin, Katrina Prior, Lexine Stapinski, Nicola Newton, Elske Salemink, Bethany Teachman, Monique Piggott, Victoria Manning, Maree Teesson, Andrew Baille, Reinout Wiers
Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference
Subject: addiction, services
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: LEAD PRESENTATION: Evaluating the Family and Friends Support Program: A Pilot Study
Anna Grager, Steph Kershaw, Madeleine Keaveny, Bronte Speirs, Dara Sampson, Kate Ross, Nicola Newton, Maree Teesson, Hannah Wells, Jessica Wilson, Caitlin Bray, Cath Chapman, Frances Kay-Lambkin
The complex effects of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use not only impact the people using substances, but also their families and friends. Affected friends and family members (AFFMs) often experience psychological distress, depression and anxiety as a result of a loved ones use of AOD, however, there is support available to them.
The AOD Family and Friends Support Program (AOD FFSP) is a world first, evidence-informed online intervention for AFFMs. The program was launched in November 2020 and an evaluation of it is currently underway. to determine if the program is meeting the needs of AFFM’s and what improvements could increase its effectiveness. Seventy-six AFFMs were recruited across Australia in late 2021 to complete a baseline online survey which measured levels of distress, coping skills, social supports, and examined help-seeking behaviours. Participants were then invited to interact with AOD FFSP modules over 10-weeks.
Afterwards, participants completed a post-program questionnaire on the program’s acceptability, usefulness, along with repeat measures from baseline... A follow-up assessment occurred 4 weeks following the post-program assessment, to determine whether immediate improvements remained over the short term. The results of this study are being analyzed and will be presented for the first time at this conference.
PANEL PRESENTATION: ReTrain Your Brain: An internet-delivered brain training program for youth with anxiety and problematic drinking
Katrina Prior, Lexine Stapinski, Nicola Newton, Elske Salemink, Bethany Teachman, Monique Piggott, Victoria Manning, Maree Teesson, Andrew Baille, Reinout Wiers
Background: Up to 60% of young people who receive treatment for alcohol use relapse to heavy drinking. This is particularly true for people who drink to alleviate anxiety. Research has shown that Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) brain training interventions are effective adjunct treatments for these disorders individually[1,2]. However, there is no research on their effectiveness when disorders co-occur. This presentation will outline the feasibility and acceptability of an online CBM program for young adults with co-occurring anxiety and problematic alcohol use .
Methods: A demo anxiety-alcohol CBM intervention was developed, after which feedback was sought from treatment providers (n=14) and young people (n=15) to refine the intervention.
Results: Majority of treatment providers (n>10) found the program to be ‘mostly’ or ‘very’ acceptable, user friendly, good quality, logical, age-appropriate, and relatable for the target age group. The program was not deemed very engaging, enjoyable, or motivating. Young people had a more positive perception of the program, particularly with regards to enjoyment and engagement.
Conclusions: This world-first program carries enormous potential to improve outcomes in a complex group that respond poorly to standard treatments. If efficacious, the program will help youth lead healthier lives by interrupting the trajectory into chronic, life-long disorders.
 Wiers RW, Eberl C, Rinck M, Becker ES, Lindenmeyer J. Retraining automatic action tendencies changes alcoholic patients' approach bias for alcohol and improves treatment outcome. Psychol Sci 2011 Apr;22(4):490-497. doi: 10.1177/0956797611400615
 Amir N, Taylor CT. Interpretation training in individuals with generalized social anxiety disorder: a randomized controlled trial. J Consult Clin Psychol 2012 Jun;80(3):497-511. doi: 10.1037/a0026928
 Prior, K., Salemink, E., Wiers, R., Teachman, B., … & Stapinski, L.A. (2020). Acceptability and co-development of an online Cognitive Bias Modification intervention for emerging adults with hazardous alcohol use and social anxiety: A mixed methods study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. doi: 10.1111/acer.14452