Alice Bowen & Paul Lennon

Over the past six years, I have been coordinating the Addictions Service User Research Group (SURG), which is a collaboration between The National Addictions Centre (King’s College London) and The Aurora Project, a peer mentoring service. All eleven members of SURG are drug and alcohol service users, who meet monthly to discuss upcoming research. The central aim of the group is to build meaningful and reciprocal relationships between addiction researchers and service users when thinking through and conducting research.

Recently, I have also been working with researchers at King’s to develop a recovery app, SURE Recovery, which is now available to download for free. The app aims to support people in recovery to achieve their personal goals. Moving forward, I will work on the next phase of the project which will explore improvements to the app and use data gathered via the app to further understand substance use and recovery.

Mixed-methods study of a novel recovery app as an intervention to alter substance use trajectories and minimise harms

Our recent collaborative research resulted in the development of two validated Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS): The Substance Use Recovery Evaluator (SURE) and The Substance Use Sleep Scale (SUSS), which community members subsequently told us they would like incorporated into a recovery app. We therefore developed the first version of ‘SURE Recovery’, an app which is now available. The present study aims to explore use of, and engagement with, SURE Recovery.

Using a mixed-methods approach, quantitative data will be collected via the app over 10 months to test associations between use of the app and reported use of substances and services; naloxone carriage and use; and recovery. Qualitative data will be generated via interviews with people who have used the app to understand how it is used, with what effects, and how it might be improved.

The research will be conducted in the community.

Participants will be invited to participate via the app, which is designed for people who are using substances or thinking about, or in, recovery.

Quantitative data will include demographic information and questionnaires on substance use, treatment, recovery (SURE), sleep (SUSS) and overdose. Qualitative data will be generated via 30-40 semi-structured interviews.

Findings and conclusions:
Quantitative and qualitative findings will be combined to explore whether and how SURE Recovery could alter substance use trajectories and reduce substance-related harms. Findings, alongside feedback from additional workshops with 20 app users, will then be used to modify the app before testing it as an intervention.

Poster link: Mixed-methods study of a novel recovery app as an intervention to alter substance use trajectories and minimise harms