Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and mood disorders commonly co-occur, and are associated with a range of negative outcomes for patients. Mobile phone technology has the potential to provide personalised support for such patients and potentially improve outcomes in this difficult-to-treat cohort. The aim of this study is to examine whether receiving supporting SMS text messages, following discharge from an inpatient dual diagnosis treatment programme, has a positive impact on mood and alcohol abstinence in patients with an AUD and a comorbid mood disorder.
Methods and analysis
The present study is a single-blind randomised controlled trial. Patients aged 18–70 years who meet the criteria for both alcohol dependency syndrome/alcohol abuse and either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder according to the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV Axis I will be randomised to receive twice-daily supportive SMS text messages for 6 months plus treatment as usual, or treatment as usual alone, and will be followed-up at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months postdischarge. Primary outcome measures will include changes from baseline in cumulative abstinence duration, which will be expressed as the proportion of days abstinent from alcohol in the preceding 90 days, and changes from baseline in Beck Depression Inventory scores.
Ethics and dissemination
The trial has received full ethical approval from the St. Patrick’s Hospital Research Ethics Committee (protocol 13/14). Results of the trial will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal articles and at academic conferences.
Trial registration number