From the Literature: Addiction and Health IT


Review the results of three recently published studies that looked at the crossroads of addiction and health IT.

Computer-delivered Interventions for Alcohol and Tobacco Use: A Meta-analysis

Journal: Addiction (August 2010)

Authors: Rooke S, THorsteinsson E, Karpin A, et al.

Purpose: “To quantify the overall effectiveness of computer-delivered interventions for alcohol and tobacco use.”

Results: After performing a meta-analysis, the researchers determined that Internet-accessed, computer-delivered treatments with minimal contact could provide a cost-effective way of treating substance use that is uncomplicated, as well as related issues.

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Efficacy of Virtual Reality in Triggering the Craving to Smoke: Its Relation to Level of Presence and Nicotine Dependence

Journal: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics

Authors: Ferrer-Garcia M, Garcia-Rodriguez O, Gutierrez-Maldonado J, et al.

Purpose: To “assess the capacity of eight environments to produce the craving to smoke and determine the relation of craving to nicotine dependence and level of presence.”

Results: With a direct relation seen between craving and one’s sense of presence, each of the eight virtual environments were able to generate the desire to smoke.

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[Internet- and Computer Game Addiction: Phenomenology, Comorbidity, Etiology, Diagnostics and Therapeutic Implications for the Addictives and Their Relatives]

Journal: Psychiatrische Praxis (July 2010)

Authors: Peukert P, Sieslack S, Barth G, Batra A

Purpose: To “give an overview about the current scientific discussion of the overuse and addiction of internet and computer game playing.”

Results: With addicted people rarely showing any desire to make a behavioral change, the authors suggest training relatives on how to increase motivation for a behavioral change in the addicted person as a promising approach.

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