Decreased Alcohol Consumption in an Implementation Study of Computerized Brief Intervention among HIV Patients in Clinical Care

Academic Article


  • This prospective, nonrandomized implementation study evaluated a computerized brief intervention (CBI) for persons with HIV (PWH) and heavy/hazardous alcohol use. CBI was integrated into two HIV primary care clinics. Eligible patients were engaged in care, ≥ 18 years old, English speaking, endorsed heavy/hazardous alcohol use on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-C (AUDIT-C). Two 20-min computerized sessions using cognitive behavioral techniques were delivered by a 3-D avatar on touch screen tablets. Of 816 eligible AUDIT-C scores, 537 (66%) resulted in CBI invitation, 226 (42%) of invited patients enrolled, and 176 (78%) of enrolled patients watched at least one session. CBI enrollment was associated with a significant average reduction of 9.1 drinks/week (95% CI − 14.5, − 3.6) 4–12 months post-enrollment. Among those who participated in one or both sessions, average reduction in drinks/week was 11.7 drinks/week (95% CI − 18.8, − 4.6). There was corresponding improvement in AUDIT-C scores. Overall patients reported high levels of intervention satisfaction, particularly among older and Black patients. These promising results point to a practical intervention for alcohol reduction in this vulnerable patient population with elevated rates of heavy/hazardous drinking. Future research should examine strategies to increase initial engagement, strengthen intervention effects to increase the number of patients who achieve non-hazardous drinking, and examine the duration of therapeutic effects.
  • Published In

  • AIDS and Behavior  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • McCaul ME; Hutton HE; Cropsey KL; Crane HM; Lesko CR; Chander G; Mugavero MJ; Kitahata MM; Lau B; Saag MS
  • Start Page

  • 4074
  • End Page

  • 4084
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 12