Presentation Title

Attitudes toward Smartphone Breathalyzers among People Living with HIV/AIDS

Abstract

This presentation describes participants’ attitudes toward the use of smartphones and mobile Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzers in the TRAC (Tracking and Reducing Alcohol Consumption) Study, which asked people living with HIV/AIDS to use these technologies to monitor alcohol use on a twice-daily basis. Results from qualitative interviews following a two-week monitoring period suggest high acceptability and positive attitudes toward the mobile technologies.

Proposal Summary

Alcohol consumption is a significant issue among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), as rates of use are high among this population and it can impact medication adherence. In fact, research has found that alcohol consumption is the strongest predictor of adherence, having larger effects than depression, social support, drug use, dosage amount, age, gender, or race/ethnicity. Thus, reducing and monitoring alcohol consumption should be a priority for improving the health of PLWHA. To test innovative methods of alcohol monitoring, the TRAC (Tracking and Reducing Alcohol Consumption) Pilot Study utilized smartphones and mobile Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzers. Such technology-based methods have special potential for rural populations, who have limited access to in-person medical services and alcohol counseling. Twenty PLWHA living in a non-metropolitan area completed two weeks of alcohol and medication monitoring. On a twice-daily basis, they were texted and asked to complete a breathalyzer reading and short mobile questionnaire about their medication use and drinking behaviors. Evaluation methods including a pre- and post-monitoring questionnaire and a post-monitoring semi-structured interview. Results from the pre-monitoring questionnaire indicated that the participants had strong positive attitudes toward the breathalyzer (M= 5.44 out of a possible 6, SD=1.32). Responses from the interview suggest that these positive attitudes persisted after two weeks of monitoring. A strong majority of participants stated that they thought the monitoring was useful, that it made them drink less, or that it made them think about their level of drinking. One participant said, “It made me think about how much I was drinking or how much I shouldn’t be drinking.” Most participants also stated that they enjoyed using the monitoring technology, with several expressing that it was informative or educational. The breathalyzer itself was reported as easy to use by most of the participants. Most stated that they experienced no challenges, though some did mention there was a short learning curve associated with the technologies. Overall, these responses suggest that there is strong potential for using mobile methods of alcohol monitoring for PLWHA. Future research is planned for integrating this mobile monitoring with a smartphone-based alcohol reduction counseling intervention for rural PLWHA.

Relevance And Significance

This presentation falls well within the Prevention and Intervention track. It is related to HIV and substance abuse and addiction, as it focuses on the results of a pilot study aimed to monitor alcohol consumption among people living with HIV/AIDS. It also is related to telehealth-telecommunications technologies, as it utilizes mobile phone technology for monitoring alcohol use.

Session Format

Poster Session

Keywords

Alcohol, mobile health, behavioral monitoring, telehealth, HIV

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 21st, 5:30 PM Sep 21st, 7:30 PM

Attitudes toward Smartphone Breathalyzers among People Living with HIV/AIDS

This presentation describes participants’ attitudes toward the use of smartphones and mobile Bluetooth-enabled breathalyzers in the TRAC (Tracking and Reducing Alcohol Consumption) Study, which asked people living with HIV/AIDS to use these technologies to monitor alcohol use on a twice-daily basis. Results from qualitative interviews following a two-week monitoring period suggest high acceptability and positive attitudes toward the mobile technologies.