204167 Evaluation of Internet as treatment support for methamphetamine users in recovery

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gopika Chandra, MD, MPH , School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Thomas M. Lyons, PhD , Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Edward Mensah, PhD , Public Health Informatics Program-Health Policy and Administration Division, University of Illinois @ Chicago, Chicago, IL
Jacek L. Ubaka, MD, MPH , Department of Pediatrics, John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL
This prospective case study examines the role of Internet in treatment support for methamphetamine (MA) users in recovery. The study methodology has been tested previously for chronic diseases, but use of Internet-based treatment support amongst stimulant users has not been studied. A total of 500 participants voluntarily completed anonymous online survey questionnaire on an anti-methamphetamine website, www.kci.org. This study included MA abusers and MA nonusers, who are family and friends of MA abusers looking for information, resources, and support. An MA user is defined as person currently using the drug, in recovery or relapse. The approximate stage of recovery for MA users, who visited the website, was measured using the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale (SOCRATES) based on the transtheoretical model of behavioral change. The differences in Internet use pattern based on stage of change were assessed. Participation on www.kci.org provided social, emotional, and informational support to MA abusers and MA nonusers. A qualitative review of asynchronous postings in the discussion board showed that interchanges between users provide social support, and often point the poster toward the next stage of behavioral change. The study suggests guidelines to improve the web-design of existing anti-methamphetamine websites so as to improve the online support available for MA abusers and nonusers depending on their specific needs.

Learning Objectives:
Learn how Internet may provide treatment support for methamphetamine users in recovery and to friends/family members of methamphetamine users; Identify methodological limitations of use of Internet for treatment support during recovery from stimulants; Development of treatment support website for methamphetamine users based on individual stage of recovery

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Internet

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Research presented in the abstract is PhD dissertation conducted by Gopika Chandra
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.