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Don’t touch that drink! : Making serious cognitive testing more engaging for use in substance consumer contexts


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Young, MR 2019 , 'Don’t touch that drink! : Making serious cognitive testing more engaging for use in substance consumer contexts', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Inhibitory control (IC) is crucial in the ability to resist and impede habitual substance use. Workforce surveys have indicated a strong interest in the assessment of IC during substance use treatment. However, these are poorly utilised due to cost, accessibility and poor appeal. We have developed a brief, interactive IC task for smartphones and tablets. Our proposed measure uses a go/no-go paradigm; go-stimuli are bottles of healthy drinks and no-go stimuli are bottles of alcoholic drinks. Two studies were conducted to validate the task: a seven-day test-retest study, comprising both this test and traditional IC tasks in healthy adults (N=68, 40 females); and an acute alcohol dosing study designed to determine sensitivity to intoxication (BrAC=0.05%, 0.08%; N=37, 22 females). The WAB demonstrated weak to moderate magnitude correlations with existing measures of IC and minimal learning effects on repeat assessment. Participants also reported greater acceptability of the WAB than a traditional IC measure. Finally, the WAB was a more sensitive measure to acute alcohol intoxication. Overall, the WAB demonstrates good face validity, equivalent reliability and greater sensitivity than traditional IC measures. Further development of the task is required to reduce ceiling effects and ensure that it is a valid IC

Item Type: Thesis - Honours
Authors/Creators:Young, MR
Keywords: inhibitory control, alcohol, substance use, serious games, cognitive testing
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Copyright 2019 the author

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