METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted on three groups: individuals with alcohol use disorders (n=30), social drinkers (n=54) and alcohol-naive controls (n=60). 1H NMR-based metabolomics was used to obtain the metabolic profiles of plasma samples. Data were processed by multivariate principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) followed by univariate and multivariate logistic regressions to produce the best fit-model for discrimination between groups.
RESULTS: The OPLS-DA model was able to distinguish between the AUD group and the other groups with high sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of 64.29%, 98.17% and 91.24% respectively. The logistic regression model identified two biomarkers in plasma (propionic acid and acetic acid) as being significantly associated with alcohol use disorders. The reproducibility of all biomarkers was excellent (0.81-1.0).
CONCLUSIONS: The applied plasma metabolomics technique was able to differentiate the metabolites between AUD and the other groups. These metabolites are potential novel biomarkers for diagnosis of alcohol use disorders.
METHOD: The study team based this qualitative study on Alfred Schütz's social phenomenology framework. The study team planned for fourteen in-depth interviews with patients registered at a Quit Smoking Clinic. Each in-depth session lasted 45-60 min and we audio recorded them with consent. Following full verbatim transcription, the study team carried out detailed thematic analysis using Nvivo software.
RESULTS: Out of a total of 14 patients, 10 agreed to participate (response rate 71.4%). Seven participants (70%) had successfully quit smoking, while the remaining 30% relapsed after the first quit attempt. The study team extracted from the data three key themes with eight child nodes: barriers to quitting smoking, reasons for quit attempt, and how to quit. Unsuccessful attempts were related to tobacco addiction and successful attempts were based on the need to improve one's health and family. The study explored two intrinsic (self-realization and healthy lifestyle) and two extrinsic motivations (family's health and role model for children) for attempting to quit.
CONCLUSION: The study highlights the importance of psychological support in successful quit attempts. Treatment providers should encourage behavior change through intrinsic goals, as such goals, compared to extrinsic goals, have a long-term and positive impact because they can activate autonomous motivation.
METHODS: A series of online meetings were conducted by the lead author (PK) and the SMART Recovery International Executive Officer (KM), with representatives from the SMART Recovery National Offices in the Ireland (DO), United States (MR), Australia (RM), and Denmark (BSH, DA), and the United Kingdom (AK). The meetings focused on discussing the impacts of COVID-19 on SMART Recovery in each of the regions.
RESULTS: As a result of restrictions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, the vast majority of SMART Recovery face-to-face meetings were required to cease globally. To ensure people still had access to AOD mutual support, SMART Recovery rapidly scaled up the provision of online groups. This upscaling has increased the number of groups in countries that had previously provided a limited number of online meetings (i.e., United States, England, Australia), and has meant that online groups are available for the first time in Denmark, Ireland, Hong Kong, Spain, Malaysia and Brazil.
DISCUSSION: Whilst the urgent and rapid expansion of online groups was required to support people during the pandemic, it has also created an opportunity for the ongoing availability of online mutual support post-pandemic. The challenge for the research community is to critically evaluate the online delivery of mutual support groups, to better understand the mechanisms through which they may work, and to help understand the experience of people accessing the groups.