Pilot Trial of a Smartphone-Based Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Consumption among Veterans with HIV

Erica Taylor, Darshti Patel, Vincent Marconi, Alexis Whitmire, Nathan Hansen, Trace Kershaw, David Fiellin, Carolyn Lauckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Veterans engage in disproportionate levels of alcohol use, which can impact treatment outcomes among veterans with HIV. The TRAC (Tracking and Reducing Alcohol Consumption) intervention, which combines smartphones, mobile breathalyzers, and motivational interviewing (MI), was developed to help reduce alcohol use among this population. This study reports results of an 8-week pilot trial of TRAC among veterans with HIV (N = 10). Participants attended weekly MI sessions conducted via videoconferencing or phone and completed twice-daily self-monitoring of alcohol consumption using breathalyzers and surveys. They also completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires and a qualitative interview. Analyses explored adherence to self-monitoring tasks, perceptions of the intervention, and preliminary effects of TRAC on alcohol use and readiness to change drinking behavior. Participants completed 76% of breathalyzer readings and 73% of surveys and completed more daytime than evening monitoring tasks. AUDIT hazardous drinking scores significantly decreased between baseline and post-test. Qualitative interviews revealed positive attitudes toward the technologies and MI sessions. Overall, this pilot demonstrated that the TRAC intervention has potential to reduce alcohol use among veterans with HIV, though additional effort is needed to improve adherence to mobile monitoring. Results were used to refine the intervention in preparation for a randomized controlled trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-77
Number of pages12
JournalMilitary Behavioral Health
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Grant #K01AA025305 and VCM received support from the Emory Center for AIDS Research [P30AI050409].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Alcohol use
  • electronic momentary assessment
  • mHealth
  • veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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