The new form of health care “SmartAssistEntz” is designed to help patients who have completed an inpatient alcohol withdrawal program to identify, access, and use the appropriate follow-up measures sustainably.
Alcohol dependence is one of the most common mental disorders worldwide and is often characterized by a chronic course. The German healthcare system offers a wide range of treatment options for those affected. However, only a small proportion of patients make use of further care services after completing inpatient withdrawal. Consequently, patients do not receive adequate support in a phase characterized by a high risk of relapse.
The smartphone-based concept provides the following eCoach-accompanied components:
- Enhancement of abstinence motivation through app-based training of abstinence skills.
- App-based telediagnostics for the identification of individually tailored follow-up actions
- Transfer to selected follow-up programs on the basis of an individual sustainability plan, which is jointly developed in six weekly telephone calls between the patient and the eCoach.
The evaluation will compare SmartAssistEntz with the standard of care. The primary outcome parameter is the risk of relapse within six months after completion of withdrawal. Secondary parameters include the use of evidence-based follow-up treatments after inpatient withdrawal, severity of alcohol dependence, health-related quality of life, and (total) costs. Tertiary outcome parameters are usability and satisfaction with “SmartAssistEntz”. For this purpose, patients and treatment providers will be surveyed and routine data from the participating health insurance funds and the German pension insurance will be used.
For the three-year project period, there is funding of a total of approx. 2.4 million euros. If successful, the “SmartAssistEntz” care concept could be transferred to other regions or to standard care.