Research News Roundup: April 7, 2022

    Adaptive Text Messaging for Postpartum Risky Drinking: Conceptual Model and Protocol for an Ecological Momentary Assessment Study

    Journal: JMIR Research Protocols, 2022, doi: 10.2196/36849

    Authors: Sarah Dauber, Alexa Beacham, Cori Hammond, Allison West & Johannes Thrul


    Background: Risky drinking is prevalent among women of childbearing age. Although many women reduce their drinking during pregnancy, more than half return to prepregnancy levels during the early postpartum period. Risky drinking in new mothers may be associated with negative child and maternal health outcomes; however, new mothers are unlikely to seek treatment for risky drinking because of stigma and fear of child protective service involvement. SMS text messaging is a promising approach for reaching non–treatment-seeking new mothers at risk because of risky drinking. SMS text messaging interventions (TMIs) are empirically supported for alcohol use, but a tailored intervention for new mothers does not exist. This study aims to fill this gap by developing a just-in-time adaptive TMI for postpartum risky drinking.

    Objective: The objectives of this paper are to present a preliminary conceptual model of postpartum risky drinking and describe the protocol for conducting an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study with new mothers to inform the refinement of the conceptual model and development of the TMI.

    Methods: This paper presents a preliminary conceptual model of postpartum risky drinking based on the motivational model of alcohol use, social cognitive theory, and temporal self-regulation theory. The model proposes three primary intervention targets: motivation, self-efficacy, and self-regulation. Theoretical and empirical literature in support of the conceptual model is described. The paper also describes procedures for a study that will collect EMA data from 30 participants recruited via social media and the perinatal Central Intake system of New Jersey. Following the baseline assessment, EMA surveys will be sent 5 times per day for 14 days. The assessment instruments and data analysis procedures are described.

    Results: Recruitment is scheduled to begin in January 2022 and is anticipated to conclude in March 2022. Study results are estimated to be published in July 2022.

    Conclusions: The study findings will enhance our understanding of daily and momentary fluctuations in risk and protective factors for risky drinking during the early postpartum period. The findings will be used to refine the conceptual model and inform the development of the TMI. The next steps for this work include the development of intervention components via an iterative participatory design process and testing of the resulting intervention in a pilot microrandomized trial.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Association of Habitual Alcohol Intake With Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2022, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.3849

    Authors: Kiran J. Biddinger, Connor A. Emdin, Mary E. Haas, Minxian Wang, George Hindy, Patrick T. Ellinor, Sekar Kathiresan, Amit V. Khera & Krishna G. Aragam


    Importance: Observational studies have consistently proposed cardiovascular benefits associated with light alcohol consumption, while recent genetic analyses (ie, mendelian randomization studies) have suggested a possible causal link between alcohol intake and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, traditional approaches to genetic epidemiology assume a linear association and thus have not fully evaluated dose-response estimates of risk across different levels of alcohol intake.

    Objectives: To assess the association of habitual alcohol intake with cardiovascular disease risk and to evaluate the direction and relative magnitude of cardiovascular risk associated with different amounts of alcohol consumption.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study used the UK Biobank (2006-2010, follow-up until 2016) to examine confounding in epidemiologic associations between alcohol intake and cardiovascular diseases. Using both traditional (ie, linear) and nonlinear mendelian randomization, potential associations between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases (eg, hypertension and coronary artery disease) as well as corresponding association shapes were assessed. Data analysis was conducted from July 2019 to January 2022.

    Exposures: Genetic predisposition to alcohol intake.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: The association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation.

    Results: This study included 371 463 participants (mean [SD] age, 57.0 [7.9] years; 172 400 [46%] men), who consumed a mean (SD) 9.2 (10.6) standard drinks per week. Overall, 121 708 participants (33%) had hypertension. Light to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with healthier lifestyle factors, adjustment for which attenuated the cardioprotective epidemiologic associations with modest intake. In linear mendelian randomization analyses, a 1-SD increase in genetically predicted alcohol consumption was associated with 1.3-fold (95% CI, 1.2-1.4) higher risk of hypertension (P < .001) and 1.4-fold (95% CI, 1.1-1.8) higher risk of coronary artery disease (P = .006). Nonlinear mendelian randomization analyses suggested nonlinear associations between alcohol consumption and both hypertension and coronary artery disease: light alcohol intake was associated with minimal increases in cardiovascular risk, whereas heavier consumption was associated with exponential increases in risk of both clinical and subclinical cardiovascular disease.

    Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, coincident, favorable lifestyle factors attenuated the observational benefits of modest alcohol intake. Genetic epidemiology suggested that alcohol consumption of all amounts was associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but marked risk differences exist across levels of intake, including those accepted by current national guidelines.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Longitudinal Analysis of Substance Use Disorder Symptom Severity at Age 18 Years and Substance Use Disorder in Adulthood

    Journal: JAMA Network Open, 2022, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.5324

    Authors: Sean Esteban McCabe, John E. Schulenberg, Ty S. Schepis, Vita V. McCabe & Philip T. Veliz


    Importance: Although more than 1 in every 3 US individuals will develop a substance use disorder (SUD) in their lifetime, relatively little is known about the long-term sequelae of SUD symptoms from adolescence through adulthood.

    Objective: To evaluate the longitudinal associations between adolescents’ SUD symptom severity with later medical use of prescription drugs (ie, opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers), prescription drug misuse (PDM), and SUD symptoms at ages 35 to 50 years.

    Design, Setting, and Participants: Eleven cohorts of US 12th grade students were followed longitudinally from age 18 years (1976-1986) to age 50 years (2008-2018) in the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study. Baseline surveys were self-administered in classrooms, and follow-ups were conducted by mail. Data were analyzed from June 2021 to February 2022.

    Exposure: Response to MTF study between 1976 and 2018.

    Main Outcomes and Measures: Sociodemographic variables were measured at baseline. All bivariate and multivariate analyses use attrition weights to adjust for attrition by age 50 years within the sample. SUD symptoms, prescription drug use, and PDM were measured at baseline and every follow-up.

    Results: The sample of 5317 individuals was 51.2% female (2685 participants; 95% CI, 49.6%-52.6%) and 77.9% White (4222 participants; 95% CI, 77.6%-79.1%). Participants were surveyed beginning at age 18 years and ending at age 50 years. The baseline response rate ranged from 77% to 84%, and the 32-year retention rate was 53%. Most adolescents with most severe SUD symptoms at age 18 years had 2 or more SUD symptoms in adulthood (316 participants [61.6%]; 95% CI, 55.7%-66.9%), and this association held for baseline alcohol, cannabis, and other drug use disorder symptoms. Adolescents with the highest SUD symptom severity at age 18 years had the highest adjusted odds of prescription drug use and PDM in adulthood (4-5 symptoms, adjusted odds ratio, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.06-2.32; ≥6 symptoms, adjusted odds ratio, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.11-2.16). The majority of adults using prescribed opioids, sedatives, or tranquilizers (568 participants [52.2%]; 95% CI, 48.4%-55.9%) in the past year had multiple SUD symptoms at age 18 years.

    Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that most adolescents with severe SUD symptoms do not transition out of symptomatic substance use, and the long-term sequelae for adolescents with more severe SUD symptoms are more deleterious than those for adolescents with no or low severity. Prescribers should be aware that many adults prescribed opioids, sedatives, or tranquilizers had multiple SUD symptoms during adolescence and require careful assessment and monitoring.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Sleep Deprivation and Adolescent Susceptibility to Vaping in the United States

    Journal: Preventive Medicine Reports, 2022, doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2022.101756

    Authors: Kristen D. Holtz, Andrew A. Simkus, Eric C. Twombly, Morgan L. Fleming & Nicole I. Wanty


    Sleep deprivation may be a contributing factor to adolescents’ willingness to experiment with substance use, including electronic nicotine devices (ENDS). While it is generally accepted that nicotine has a negative overall effect on sleep, no studies have yet explored whether sleep deprivation may contribute to adolescents’ initiation of ENDS use. The purpose of this study is to explore whether sleep deprivation is associated with adolescents’ self-reported susceptibility to initiating ENDS use in the next month. Respondents were 1,100 adolescents aged 13–17 across the United States who participated in the Vaping Attitudes Youth Perspectives Survey (VAYPS). We used logistic regression to examine cross-sectional associations between self-reported average sleep duration and self-reported likelihood of trying ENDS in the future. Results of the three logistic regression models show that adolescents who reported getting less than six hours of sleep per night were associated with greater odds of reporting any likelihood to try a vape in the next 30 days even when controlling for demographics and potential confounders (<6hrs sleep: OR = 2.63, 95% CI 1.30–5.31). Future research on the association between sleep deprivation and ENDS use among adolescents will benefit from using longitudinal approaches to better understand causality.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.

    Six-month Outcomes of the HOPE Smartphone Application Designed to Support Treatment with Medications for Opioid Use Disorder and Piloted during an Early Statewide COVID-19 Lockdown

    Journal: Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 2002, doi 10.1186/s13722-022-00296-4

    Authors: Jacqueline Hodges, Marika Waselewski, William Harrington, Taylor Franklin, Kelly Schorling, Jacqueline Huynh, Alexa Tabackman, Kori Otero, Karen Ingersoll, Nassima Ait-Daoud Tiouririne, Tabor Flickinger & Rebecca Dillingham


    Background: Morbidity and mortality related to opioid use disorder (OUD) in the U.S. is at an all-time high. Innovative approaches are needed to address gaps in retention in treatment with medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD). Mobile health (mHealth) approaches have shown improvement in engagement in care and associated clinical outcomes for a variety of chronic diseases, but mHealth tools designed specifically to support patients treated with MOUD are limited.

    Methods: Following user-centered development and testing phases, a multi-feature smartphone application called HOPE (Heal. Overcome. Persist. Endure) was piloted in a small cohort of patients receiving MOUD and at high risk of disengagement in care at an office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) clinic in Central Virginia. Outcomes were tracked over a six-month period following patient enrollment. They included retention in care at the OBOT clinic, usage of various features of the application, and self-rated measures of mental health, substance use, treatment and recovery.

    Results: Of the 25 participants in the HOPE pilot study, a majority were retained in care at 6 months (56%). Uptake of bi-directional features including messaging with providers and daily check-ins of mood, stress and medication adherence peaked at one month, and usage persisted through the sixth month. Patients who reported that distance to clinic was a problem at baseline had higher loss to follow up compared to those without distance as a reported barrier (67% vs 23%, p = 0.03). Patients lost to in-person clinic follow up continued to engage with one or more app features, indicating that mHealth approaches may bridge barriers to clinic visit attendance. Participants surveyed at baseline and 6 months (N = 16) scored higher on scales related to overall self-control and self-efficacy related to drug abstinence.

    Conclusions: A pilot study of a novel multi-feature smartphone application to support OUD treatment showed acceptable retention in care and patient usage at 6 months. Further study within a larger population is needed to characterize ‘real world’ uptake and association with outcomes related to retention in care, relapse prevention, and opioid-associated mortality.

    To read the full text of the article, please visit the publisher’s website.






    April 2022