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The role of neuropsychological mechanisms in implementation intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers: a randomized trial.

Authors
  • McGrath, Elly1, 2
  • Elliott, Rebecca3
  • Millar, Tim3
  • Armitage, Christopher J4
  • 1 Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. [email protected]
  • 2 Neuroscience and Psychiatry Unit, G.708 Stopford Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PT, UK. [email protected]
  • 3 Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.
  • 4 Division of Psychology and Mental Health, Manchester Centre for Health Psychology, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, United Kingdom and NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre and NIHR Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. , (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of behavioral medicine
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2020
Volume
43
Issue
4
Pages
576–586
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10865-019-00078-5
PMID: 31372864
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Implementation intention formation, which involves identifying triggers and linking them with coping strategies, has proven effective at reducing alcohol consumption in general populations. For the first time, the present study tested the ability of implementation intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers and to explore potential neuropsychological mechanisms. At baseline, participants were randomized to form implementation intentions or to an active control group. There was a 5.7 unit (1 unit = 10 ml or 8 g ethanol) per week reduction ([95%CI 0.15, 11.19], p = 0.048) in alcohol consumption at 1 month follow-up among participants who formed implementation intentions, which was significantly more than controls F(1, 91) = 3.95, p = 0.048, a medium effect size (d = 0.47, Cohen, 1992). No significant differences in performance on the neuropsychological tasks were found between groups. The present study demonstrates for the first time that implementation intentions reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers.

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