Eileen Brobbin

Eileen is a second year PhD researcher at King’s College London in the Addiction department. Her research focuses on exploring wearable transdermal alcohol sensors within the clinical and public populations. Her PhD projects hope to assess new generation transdermal alcohol sensor devices’ accuracy, acceptability and feasibility.

She completed an undergraduate in Psychology in 2016 at the University of Exeter, a PG certificate in Person-Centred Counselling in 2017 at the University of East Anglia, and an MSc in Addiction Studies 2018 at King’s College London. Eileen has previously worked as a research assistant at King’s College London on a large scale, multi-site RCT trial, working with the alcohol dependent population.

Eileen’s areas of interest include: alcohol dependency and treatment, digital technology, wearable devices.

Acceptability and feasibility of transdermal alcohol sensors: A systematic review

Aims: We aim to assess the current available transdermal alcohol sensor (TAS) devices and evaluate their acceptability and feasibility.
Methods: A systematic search was conducted of the CINAHL, EMBASE, Google Scholar, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PubMed and Scopus bibliographic databases in February 2021. Two members of the study team independently screened studies for inclusion, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. The study methodological quality was appraised using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. The primary outcome was TAS acceptability. The second outcome was to assess their feasibility. The data is presented as a narrative synthesis.
Results: We identified and analysed 22 studies. Study designs include: laboratory and ambulatory, mixed designs, RCT and focus groups and the length the device was worn ranged from days to weeks. While views on TAS were generally positive with high compliance, there were factors that were indicated as potential barriers to use and suggestions to overcome these (smaller size device, waterproof, improve comfortability, adjustable straps, more notifications and TAC information for the wearer, longer battery life and use of motion/environmental sensors to corroborate data output).
Conclusions: There is a lack of research investigating the acceptability and feasibility of TAS devices as a tool to monitor alcohol consumption in clinical and public populations. While there is some preliminary evidence suggesting the potential of these devices used in short term, laboratory based studies with volunteers, more research is needed to establish long-term, daily use with other populations, specifically clinical and within the criminal justice system.