A comparison of three types of web-based inhibition training for the reduction of alcohol consumption in problem drinkers: Preliminary results

First published: 10 May 2019 | Last updated: 20 May 2019

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Aims: Heavy drinkers have poor inhibitory control. Previous studies have demonstrated that various forms of single-session ‘inhibitory control training (ICT)’ can reduce alcohol consumption in the laboratory; however the effects of repeated training are unknown. We present preliminary findings from an ongoing trial examining effects of repeated ICT on alcohol use in heavy drinkers over a four week period.

Design: Individuals attended the laboratory and took part in a brief intervention before self-monitoring their alcohol use for one week. Upon return they were randomly allocated to one of four training groups: general inhibition training, cue-specific inhibition training, alcohol no-go training or a control group. Participants completed up to 14 training sessions at home via the web and recorded their alcohol consumption using an online diary, before returning to the laboratory.

Setting: University of Liverpool and individuals’ home / place of work.

Participants: Heavy drinkers (N=197) who were motivated to reduce their alcohol intake, from the local community.

Intervention: Brief intervention and self-monitoring, followed by ICT or control over a four week period.

Measurements: Total units of alcohol consumed during training.

Findings and Conclusions: A 3 (time: baseline, first two weeks, second two weeks of training) x (4: group:  general training, cue-specific training, alcohol no-go training, control) mixed ANOVA demonstrated a main effect of time (F(2,6)=83.75, p<.01),  but no significant time X group interaction (F(6,366)=1.59, p>.1) on units of alcohol consumed. Initial findings from this ongoing study suggest little evidence that repeated ICT administered outside of the laboratory reduces alcohol consumption.


Dr Eric Robinson, University of Liverpool, UK Prof Matt Field, University of Liverpool, UK

Conflicts of interest:

Medical Research Council. The authors report no competing interests. ISRCTN55671858


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