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01-08-2019 | Uitgave 4/2020 Open Access

Journal of Behavioral Medicine 4/2020

The role of neuropsychological mechanisms in implementation intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers: a randomized trial

Journal of Behavioral Medicine > Uitgave 4/2020
Elly McGrath, Rebecca Elliott, Tim Millar, Christopher J. Armitage
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10865-019-00078-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Implementation intention formation, which involves identifying triggers and linking them with coping strategies, has proven effective at reducing alcohol consumption in general populations. For the first time, the present study tested the ability of implementation intentions to reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers and to explore potential neuropsychological mechanisms. At baseline, participants were randomized to form implementation intentions or to an active control group. There was a 5.7 unit (1 unit = 10 ml or 8 g ethanol) per week reduction ([95%CI 0.15, 11.19], p = 0.048) in alcohol consumption at 1 month follow-up among participants who formed implementation intentions, which was significantly more than controls F(1, 91) = 3.95, p = 0.048, a medium effect size (d = 0.47, Cohen, 1992). No significant differences in performance on the neuropsychological tasks were found between groups. The present study demonstrates for the first time that implementation intentions reduce alcohol consumption among heavy drinkers.

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