Pilot Study of an Integrated Smartphone and Breathalyzer Contingency Management Intervention for Alcohol Use.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Addict Med


washington; spokane


INTRODUCTION: Monitoring devices provide a platform for assessing alcohol use and implementing alcohol interventions. This pilot study focused on assessing the early-stage feasibility and usability of a smartphone-based application and breathalyzer used in a contingency management intervention for alcohol use.

METHODS: Six nontreatment-seeking participants completed a 9-week ABA within-subjects designed intervention targeting alcohol use. Participants submitted 2 to 8 alcohol breathalyzer samples per day and completed self-report drinking measures and usability assessments. During the A phases (weeks 1-3 and 8-9), participants received reinforces for submitting breathalyzer samples, regardless of their results. During the contingency management, B phase (weeks 4-7), and received reinforcers only when negative breathalyzer samples were submitted. Usability assessment of the application was also conducted during weeks 2 and 9.

RESULTS: Participants in the contingent B phase (49%) were more likely to submit alcohol-negative breathalyzer samples compared with the noncontingent A phases (27%; P < 0.001). Usability assessment of the application varied, and participants noted several technical concerns.

CONCLUSION: The use of smartphones and breathalyzers may be a practical solution to extend the reach of contingency management during and after treatment.


Health Information Technology