A qualitative exploration of the experiences of transdermal alcohol sensor devices amongst people in receipt of treatment for alcohol use disorder

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Abstract

Introduction Transdermal alcohol sensors (TAS) have the potential to be used as a clinical tool in alcohol treatment, but there is limited research with individuals with alcohol dependence using TAS. Our study is a qualitative evaluation of the views of people attending alcohol treatment and their experiences of wearing the BACtrack Skyn, within alcohol services in South London. Methods Participants with alcohol dependence wore a BACtrack Skyn TAS for one week and met with the researcher every two days, for a total of four meetings (for example: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Monday). In the final meeting, a post-wear survey (on their physical, social and comfort experience of the TAS) and semi-structured interview were completed. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) informed the topic guide and data analysis. Results Adults (N = 16) receiving alcohol treatment were recruited. Three core topics guided analysis: perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and attitudes towards use. Participants found the TAS easy to wear and felt positive about its appearance and comfort. The only challenges reported were side effects, mostly skin irritation. The main two perceived uses were 1) TAS working as a drinking deterrent and 2) reducing daily breathalyser visits during detox. Conclusion Findings support the use of TAS amongst alcohol service users. Wearing the TAS for one week was acceptable and feasible for objective alcohol concentration measurement. Participants reported high perceived ease of use and usefulness of the Skyn in the context of alcohol treatment. These results are encouraging for the use of TAS in clinical settings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100544
JournalAddictive Behaviors Reports
Volume19
Early online date5 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Alcohol dependence
  • Alcohol monitoring
  • Alcohol treatment
  • Transdermal alcohol sensor
  • Wearable technology

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