Ecological Momentary Assessments with/without a Counselor to Optimize Methamphetamine Treatment Outcomes among Gay and Bisexual Men

Principal Investigator: Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Ph.D.  (UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences)
Co-Investigator: Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator: Dallas Swendeman, Ph.D.  (UCLA Semel Institute for Neurosciences and Human Behavior)
Funded By: National Institute on Mental Health
Grant #: P 30 MH 58107
Total Project Period: 7/1/13 – 7/31/14

This study will evaluate pilot data on the use of Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) for optimizing treatment outcomes among gay and bisexual men enrolled in the Friends Getting Off (FGO) outpatient methamphetamine abuse treatment service program at Friends Community Center, a division of Friends Research Institute. The EMA surveys consists of five (5) surveys per day covering the following domains: 1) external triggers, 2) internal triggers/affect, 3) substance use cravings and substance use, 4) sexual behaviors; and, if appropriate, 5) medication adherence. EMA surveys will assess external triggers, internal triggers/affect, and substance use cravings and substance use in the past 3 hours; whereas, sexual behaviors and, if appropriate, medication adherence will be assessed in the past 24 hours. This study will examine the feasibility, acceptability, and potential utility of EMA using cell phones and an open-source mobile health application platform, along with an EMA visualization dashboard on a secure website, and comparing self-utilization of the dashboard to brief weekly discussions of the dashboard with a counselor. The specific aims of this study are: 1) To assess the feasibility, acceptability and utility of EMA self-monitoring surveys using a cell phone application along with a web-based EMA visualization dashboard among FGO participants; 2) Compare the effects of “EMA + Dashboard” versus “EMA + Dashboard + Counselor” for optimizing methamphetamine abuse treatment outcomes among FGO participants; and, 3) Compare the effects of an EMA intervention (both “EMA + Dashboard” and “EMA + Dashboard + Counselor”) versus Treatment As Usual (TAS) for reducing methamphetamine use and HIV sexual risk behaviors, using historical records from 60 matched FGO participants. Assessments are conducted at baseline, 8-week (treatment completion), and 3-month post-enrollment.