A randomized trial of computerized vs. in-person brief intervention for illicit drug use in primary care: Outcomes through 12 months


Jan Gryczynski, Ph.D., Shannon Gwin Mitchell, Ph.D., Arturo Gonzales, Ph.D., Ana Moseley, A.C.S.W., Thomas R. Peterson, Ph.D., Steven J. Ondersma, Ph.D., Kevin E. O’Grady, Ph.D., Robert P. Schwartz, M.D.

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

September 14, 2014







This study examined outcomes through 12 months from a randomized trial comparing computerized brief intervention (CBI) vs. in-person brief intervention (IBI) delivered by behavioral health counselors for adult community health center patients with moderate-level drug misuse (N = 360). Data were collected at baseline, 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up, and included the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) and laboratory analysis of hair samples. Repeated measures analyses examined differential change over time. There were no significant differences in drug-positive hair tests over time or by condition. Global ASSIST scores decreased in both conditions (p < .001), but there were no significant differences between conditions in overall change across 12 months of follow-up (p = .13). CBI produced greater overall reductions in alcohol (p = .04) and cocaine (p = .02) ASSIST scores than IBI, with initial differences dissipating over time. Computerized brief interventions present a viable alternative to traditional in-person brief interventions.









Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee