Center for Psychosocial… Institute for… Research Center for… Projects

Smartphone- and Internet-based aftercare following inpatient withdrawal therapy for alcohol dependence (SALUSMART)

Contact: PD Dr. Markus Moessner (markus.moessner(at)

Project period: 2014-2015

Project description

The effectiveness of inpatient withdrawal treatment for alcohol dependence is well documented. Following treatment, however, many of the patients do not succeed in remaining permanently abstinent, so there is a need for interventions that can prevent relapses or at least limit their effects.

The main goal of the project is to test a post-treatment smartphone- and internet-based support service for patients with alcohol dependence. The SALUSMART program is designed to help patients to maintain abstinence in the long term after discharge and to get early help in crisis situations. It includes the following modules:

  1. Supportive monitoring: Participants provide daily information about their well-being, positive activities and their confidence in abstinence via smartphone and receive supportive feedback regarding their statements. The monitoring system also automatically informs the responsible therapist in case of indications of relapse.
  2. Lists of positive activities and personal skills: Before discharge from the clinic, participants prepare a list of positive activities together with their reference therapist. As well as a list of actions ("skills") that can help them stop alcohol cravings in the event of a crisis (i.e., when a relapse is imminent). These individual lists can be accessed at any time through the program.
  3. Emergency contacts: The program is designed to assist participants in getting help as quickly as possible when necessary. Therefore, contact details of important contacts (e.g. addiction counseling center) are stored in the program. These are also informed by the responsible therapist in the event of a relapse.
  4. Counseling via telephone or chat: Participants have the option of booking counseling and support contacts via telephone or chat with a therapist from the clinic.

A pilot study is currently underway to investigate the uptake and use of the SALUSMART aftercare service and participant satisfaction with the intervention. In addition, an initial assessment of the efficacy of the intervention is being conducted in preparation for a randomized controlled trial. The project is being carried out jointly by the FOST and the salus klinik Friedrichsdorf.

Cooperation partner

Dr. Dietmar Kramer
salus klinik Friedrichsdorf
Landgrafenplatz 1
61381 Friedrichsdorf