A Scoping Review of Computer-Based and Telecommunication Technology Interventions to Address Drug and Alcohol Misuse and Smoking in Women

Background

Computer-based and telecommunication technology has become increasingly common to address addiction among women. This review assessed the effect of technology-based interventions on substance misuse, alcohol use, and smoking outcomes among women.

Methods

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) extension for scoping reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guideline was used to conduct the scoping review. Four databases (PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Scopus) were used to search for peer-reviewed articles published in English on computer-based and telecommunication technology use to address substance misuse, alcohol use, and smoking among women.

Results

A total of 30 articles were selected after the final full-text review from the U.S., England, Japan, and the Netherlands. The types of technology used in the interventions included computer software (standalone or web-based), mobile applications, video calling, phone, and text messaging. Intervention outcomes included alcohol and other substance misuse reduction as polysubstance misuse (n = 5), smoking cessation (n = 10), substance misuse reduction only (n = 6), and alcohol use reduction only (n = 9). The populations reached included women who were pregnant (n = 13), postpartum (n = 4), or non-pregnant (n = 14) ranging from adolescent to adulthood. Interventions that targeted polysubstance misuse showed statistically significant reductions (p < .05).

Conclusion

Although effective in reducing alcohol and other substance misuse, mixed findings were identified for other outcomes targeting a single substance. Technology-based interventions might maximize their effects by targeting polysubstance misuse and addressing associated contextual issues in the form of a computer-delivered module(s).

Related Experts

Yukiko Washio

Expertise

Maternal behavior change

Intervention research

Intervention adaptation and testing