Stella Fangauf, Elske Roeleveld
Learning from the neighbors: Consequences of digitalization in treatment and prevention of addiction.
In the Netherlands, online interventions and web-based treatments are used in addiction treatment since 2003. Also in Germany patients are more active online, and the number of smartphone users increases continuously (81% in 2018). Online interventions and mobile apps can facilitate access to treatment, bridge waiting times and support therapy processes. E-health is time-independent and low threshold. Since 2008, Minddistrict offers a safe online platform and is leading in delivering e-health in the Netherlands. High-quality online content improves autonomy and self-efficacy of patients and can be adapted individually. Besides face-to-face, also blended and 100% online care are offered in addiction treatment in the Netherlands. Tactus, an institute for addiction treatment, developed and has been using several online interventions for addiction treatment since 2005. A web-based intervention for alcohol addiction was tested in an RCT (N=156). Results show that this online treatment was effective in reducing alcohol consumption, engaging a bigger target group and improving health status. The perceived therapeutic relationship was comparable to face-to-face treatment. An RCT on online eating disorder treatment (N=214) showed positive results as well.
When introducing e-health, success cannot be taken for granted. We present the pitfalls and lessons learned in the Netherlands and provide guidelines and ideas for using e-health in addiction treatment and prevention in Germany.