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Gamified M-Health Attention Bias Modification Intervention for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder: Protocol for a Pilot Randomised Study

Zhang, Melvyn W. B.; Heng, Sandor; Amron, Syidda B.; Mahreen, Zaakira; Song, Guo; Fung, Daniel S. S.; Smith, Helen E.

Año: 2020

Introduction: Globally, there is an epidemic of opioid use disorders. Locally, in Singapore, there is an increase in the number of individuals abusing opioids. The advances in experimental psychology have highlighted the need to modify unconscious, automatic biases. These automatic, unconscious biases result in individuals having preferential attention to substance-related cues in their natural environment, thus leading to a slip or relapse back into their underlying addictive disorders. Prior studies have demonstrated not only the presence of robust attentional biases amongst individuals with opioid use disorder, even when maintained on methadone; and the effectiveness of bias modification amongst these individuals. There remains limited evaluation of attention bias modification amongst a treatment-seeking cohort of Asian individuals. The objective of this pilot is to ensure that the methods of the planned definitive randomized trial could be conducted. Methods and Analysis: A non-blinded pilot randomized trial will be conducted. A total of 30 participants will be randomized to receive either the conventional application or the newly designed co-designed application. In order to identify these 30 participants, 60 participants will be recruited and screened to determine if they have baseline biases. Participants will be recruited from the inpatient unit at the National Addictions Management Service (NAMS) Singapore. All participants who are enrolled into the trial will complete a baseline assessment task, and a bias modification assessment and modification task daily. They will have to complete a baseline demographic and clinical information questionnaire, as well as a cravings rating scale before and after the intervention daily. Perspectives-that of self-reported experiences-will be sought from the participants following their completion of three intervention tasks. Descriptive statistical analyses will be performed, and chi-square and ANOVA analyses will be performed. Qualitative analyses will be undertaken for the perspectives shared. Ethics and Dissemination: Ethical approval has been obtained from the National Healthcare Group´s Domain Specific Research Board (DSRB) (approval number that of 2019/00934). The findings arising from this study will be disseminated by means of conferences and publications.

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Palabras clave:

attention bias; cognitive bias; addiction; psychiatry


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