Daybreak app: research shows promise for treatment of high-risk alcohol users

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// Developed as an intervention to support individuals with high-risk drinking habits, new research from Curtin has confirmed the Daybreak app has achieved its purpose.

Research conducted by the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University has evaluated the effectiveness of the Daybreak app after three months of use.

Involving 793 Australian adults classed as having a “risky/harmful” and “probably dependent” relationship with alcohol, the study concluded that the app halved the standard drinks the participants consumed weekly.

What is Daybreak?

The online program allows people who do not have access to sufficient treatment support via a digital community, habit-changing systems and one-on-one chats with health coaches.

The combination of professional and community support within the program allows people to know they are not alone as well as seek and receive reliable advice and assistance.

Although over 400,000 Australians reportedly need access to treatment for alcohol problems, 70 per cent are not be able receive it due to it being expensive, unscalable and often remote.

Developed by Hello Sunday Morning, Daybreak app seeks to rectify this and has garnered considerable reach, helping over 50,000 people since its release in 2016.

Hello Sunday Morning CEO Chris Raine hopes the success of this research will encourage more people to join the supportive Daybreak community.

“People in Australia who say they want to reduce their use of alcohol can instantly receive support that is proven to be effective, in the privacy and convenience of their own homes, by downloading the Daybreak app.”

Chris Raine

Success paves way for online intervention programs

Leading the research was NDRI Senior Research Fellow, Dr Robert Tait.

“This is significant because until now it has generally been considered too hard to treat this group of people online or with just a brief face-to-face intervention, and they are usually referred for more intensive treatment.”

Dr Tait
Dr Tait was pleased about the app’s success in helping this previously inaccessible demographic.

Dr Tait noted the success of this small-scale research will likely have positive ramifications for implementing similar digital programs.

“The reductions in alcohol consumption achieved indicate the potential for online interventions to help people with more entrenched alcohol problems, which is particularly significant given the wide potential reach of online interventions.”

Dr Tait

The research was funded through a grant from nib foundation.

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The full report is published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, available at https://www.jmir.org/2019/9/e14967/

Photos Supplied.