|Step Away: Alcohol Help app||Here and Now Systems LLC|
|Security and privacy||Does the app:
What does the app do?
Step Away is an app that helps people reduce the amount of alcohol they drink or to stop drinking alcohol altogether. The interactive app has tools to help you with your goals.
The app provides you with the tools to help you manage your drinking. You can:
- assess your level of drinking
- set goals to manage your drinking
- use the app's tool to help you reach these goals
- quickly and easily connect with people who are part of your support network
- link to external support networks.
✔ It uses a motivational enhancement therapy (MET) framework. This is an evidence-based approach that empowers users to make internally motivated change.
✘ At the time of review there is no Android app but it is in development and is anticipated to launch soon.
Date of review: May 2020
Platform reviewed: Apple
Reviewer: Health professional, Christchurch, September 2020
Comments: Good idea but limited usefulness. Can track each week but unable to look back at previous weeks to compare or see pattern App asks you to make a goal- goal is daily amount alcohol or no alcohol- no flexibility eg to be abstinent 2 days per week.
Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, FRNZCGP
Date of review: May 2020
Comments: The original US version of this app was developed over several years and was then picked up by Auckland researchers and adapted for the NZ context. It is built off a motivational enhancement therapy framework which empowers people to make internally motivated change. The app covers 10 modules providing assessment, feedback, monitoring, strategies and more. Results of a pilot study of the US version showed benefit.¹ The US app was then modified with feedback from the pilot study. There are no published data for the NZ version yet. The user can use the app with or without joining the ongoing research study.
I would highly recommend this to those with drinking-related problems who are unwilling or unable to engage with in-person treatment. It could also potentially be used as an adjunct to in-person treatment.
The main drawbacks are the lack of an Android version (Android has almost 60% market share in New Zealand), and the lack of specific Māori/Pacific content.
Safety concerns: No concerns. The application assesses the user’s level of dependency and assesses mood.
New Zealand relevance: Adapted for New Zealand
- Dulin PL, Gonzalez VM, Campbell K. Results of a pilot test of a self administered smartphone-based treatment system for alcohol use disorders: Usability and early outcomes(external link)(external link) Substance Abuse. 2014;35:168-175.
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