Developing a Theory Driven Text Messaging Intervention for Addiction Care With User Driven Content

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Abstract

The number of text messaging interventions designed to initiate and support behavioral health changes have been steadily increasing over the past 5 years. Messaging interventions can be tailored and adapted to an individual's needs in their natural environment—fostering just-in-time therapies and making them a logical intervention for addiction continuing care. This study assessed the acceptability of using text messaging for substance abuse continuing care and the intervention preferences of individuals in substance abuse treatment in order to develop an interactive mobile text messaging intervention. Fifty individuals enrolled in intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment completed an assessment battery relating to preferred logistics of mobile interventions, behavior change strategies, and types of messages they thought would be most helpful to them at different time points. Results indicated that 98% participants were potentially interested in using text messaging as a continuing care strategy. Participants wrote different types of messages that they perceived might be most helpful, based on various hypothetical situations often encountered during the recovery process. Although individuals tended to prefer benefit driven over consequence driven messages, differences in the perceived benefits of change among individuals predicted message preference. Implications for the development of mobile messaging interventions for the addictions are discussed.

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