This study evaluates the feasibility, acceptability, and perceived benefits of mobile-phone delivered self-monitoring queries and feedback integrated into the evidence-based Quit Using Drugs Intervention Trial (QUIT) screening and brief telephone health coaching intervention to prevent progression from risky drug use to addiction as the QUIT-Mobile intervention.
Participants (n = 20) were primarily Black/African American and Latino men in Los Angeles with risky substance use. Self-monitoring surveys were sent by text-message twice-weekly for 6 weeks and once-weekly from 6 to 12-weeks. Surveys consisted of 10 questions regarding drug and alcohol use (ie, # days of use) and cravings, quality of life, and medication adherence. Feedback messages praised or encouraged drug use reductions. Coaches monitored patient responses and discussed them in QUIT's telephone coaching sessions. Participants’ experiences were assessed qualitatively at 3-month follow-up.
Nineteen out of 20 participants that completed the qualitative evaluation from the 12-week follow-up reported: (1) self-monitoring surveys helped them adhere to drug use reduction goals and reflect on associations between self-monitoring domains; (2) preference for higher frequency (twice-weekly) self-monitoring during the 6-week coaching period, and then weekly surveys thereafter but not monthly; and (3) self-monitoring and coaching were mutually reinforcing for their drug use reduction goals.
Results are consistent with prior similar research suggesting that mobile phone self-monitoring of drug use and related factors is feasible and acceptable among diverse adults with risky drug use. Findings also suggest the potential benefits of integrating electronic self-monitoring and feedback into substance use reduction interventions such as QUIT to enhance patient self-management and coaching or counseling intervention components.