Smartphone Addiction Recovery Coach (SARC) Support for Young Adults

1/23/2023 6:06:00 AM

Chestnut Health Systems logoAcademic mentor: Hyojung Kang

Community partner: Chestnut Health Systems

Project description: 
The Smartphone Addiction Recovery Coach (SARC) study looks at whether smartphone applications can help support young adults with making positive choices surrounding their substance use and/or supporting their recovery before, during, or after receiving treatment.  Young adults (ages 18-25) will be recruited through community outreach in Central Illinois. Participants will be randomly assigned to either a recovery support as usual control condition, or this plus the SARC suite of applications. Participants in both groups will receive training on relapse prevention. Participants in the experimental condition will receive a smartphone, data plan, and training on how to use the SARC applications.  To reinforce self-monitoring, participants will be randomly alerted 5 times daily for 6 months and prompted to complete ecological momentary assessments (EMA) asking about their recent use of alcohol/other drugs and exposure to persons, places, activities, feelings, and other risk/protective factors. The participants will have continuous access over 6 months to a suite of ecological momentary intervention (EMI) applications focused on recovery support, including feedback on their EMA, a toolbox to help them cope with risk situations/craving, seeking support, and daily maintenance activities. Interviewers will conduct the enrollment, 3-, 6-, and 9-months post-enrollment interviews.  

Role of the Community-Academic Scholar:
Two Community-Academic Scholars will work on this project. Both scholars will assist with community outreach in Urbana-Champaign and/or Bloomington-Normal. They will participate in conducting public recruitment of study participants and collecting contact information so potential participants can be contacted for eligibility screening. All outreach will be conducted in pairs and appropriate safety precautions will be taken.

In addition to assisting with outreach, each scholar will be involved in different parts of the project:
Scholar 1 will focus on the study cascade, looking into the pipeline for study participants from first contact through randomization. The scholar is expected to think critically about ways to increase recruitment and retention along the recruitment cascade and help to implement other research ideas. These might include other areas to target for recruitment (through outreach, hanging fliers, attending community events, etc.) or ways to further engage people into the study process.

Scholar 2 will focus on further engaging participants who are already randomized in the study in ways that the scholar thinks will be meaningful and effective. This may include the design and creation of mailings and appointment reminders, the design of memes to text to participants encouraging them to complete their ecological momentary assessments and the timing of such texts. Depending on the product the student chooses to create, they can look at the short-term effectiveness of what they implement.