Testing the Integration of Smartphone Technology into Primary Care
Our research team is currently looking for adults (age 21+) who have a smartphone and are willing to use an app called Tula to help reduce their drinking, improve their health, and enhance their quality of life.
TAKE OUR BRIEF SCREENING SURVEY
to see if you are eligible.
Scroll down for details about the study.
- Why we're doing this research.
- What is Tula?
- Who is eligible for this study?
- What would participation in the study involve?
- Is this a paid study?
- About recommended limits.
Alcohol consumption has been shown to affect physical and mental health, quality of life, and overall wellness. The prevalence of drinking in the United States suggests that drinking comprises a broad spectrum of patterns ranging from low-risk alcohol use to severe abuse or dependence. Efforts to promote health, support wellness, and reduce risks associated with alcohol use have been identified as important health priorities for individuals and communities, alike.
Because smartphone technology offers individuals an additional tool for monitoring, understanding, and managing their personal health, the smartphone application at the center of this study, called Tula, has the potential to help people drink less, understand the connections between alcohol use and wellness, and build lasting, healthy habits.
This research is sponsored by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health.
The word Tula means “balance” in Sanskrit. The Tula smartphone app is designed to help people balance their health-related goals with their drinking. Its features and tools include a drink tracker, an information library with content and strategies for building healthy habits and reducing drinking, a collection of guided meditations and relaxation techniques, links to helpful websites, and space to collect personal notes and digital resources for inspiration and motivation. Tula also includes communication tools, such as private messaging, and some users will have access to an in-app discussion forum, where Tula users may interact and provide support or encouragement to one another.
You or someone you know may be eligible for this study if you (or they) . . .
- are 21 years of age or older
- are interested in learning about a “whole health” approach to improving and maintaining your health
- are willing to download and use a free smartphone app called Tula
- have an Apple or Android smartphone
- want to cut back on your drinking
- drink more than the single-day or weekly recommended limits (as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Participation in this study involves
- completing a 10-minute eligibility screening survey (the link to the survey can be found at the top of this page).
- downloading and installing the Tula app on your smartphone
- reviewing a detailed description of and consenting to participate in the study*
- creating a Tula username and password (account set-up)
- using Tula for up to 12 months
- completing a series of surveys about your use of alcohol, quality of life, and what matters to you in terms of your health.
*Because this is a randomized clinical trial, Tula users will be assigned to one of three groups, each with a slightly different Tula experience. In addition to the activities outlined above, some participants will be offered the opportunity to work with a peer mentor or a health coach. If eligible, it is important to review the detailed information provided in the informed consent document prior to enrolling in the study.
You will be mailed a $10 Amazon or Target gift card if you complete the eligibility screening survey.
If you are eligible and decide to enroll in the study, you can receive up to $250 for completing all the surveys over a 12-month period.
Did you know . . .
- 1 in 3 adults drink above the recommended limits?
- recommended limits vary by sex and age:
- for women and men over 65, experts recommend no more than 3 drinks on any day and no more than 7 drinks per week.
- for men 65 and younger, experts recommend no more than 4 drinks on any day and no more than 14 drinks per week.
- only 2% of people that drink within (or under) the recommended limits have alcohol use disorder (AUD)
- Drinking within the recommended limits may promote . . .
- healthy weight
- better mood
- quality sleep
- healthy relationships
- improved performance at work and school
- Limits are defined by number of drinks, so what counts as “one drink”?
- As the alcohol content increases, the serving size decreases. This graphic from the NIAAA’s “Rethinking Drinking” website offers a great visual guide:
Photo: NIAAA Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol & Your Health U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services