Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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In spite of advances in the treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders (AUDs), short-term treatment outcomes remain modest and
longer term prognosis poor. This keynote address argues cross-disciplinary research is essential to the future of Alcohol
Use Disorder (AUD) treatment. Four empirical studies are presented as examples, covering research across disciplines of
clinical psychology, machine learning, clinical pharmacology and molecular biology that extend knowledge of the etiology
and treatment of AUDs.
Study 1: Clinical trial that compared (non-linear statistical) machine learning approaches against expert clinical judgment in
predicting treatment outcome of a 3 month Cognitive Behavioural Treatment (CBT) AUD treatment program.
Study 2: Clinical trial that examined the contribution of adjunctive pharmacotherapy (anti-craving and relapse-prevention
agents) to CBT in AUD treatment.
Study 3: Cross-sectional and prospective studies that examine the relationship between severity phenotypes and psychological
and genetic mechanisms known to be associated with alcohol dependence.
Study 4: Preliminary data from a new clinical trial which ‘personalizes’ alcohol dependence treatment on the basis of psychological
and genetic risk. To advance outcomes in AUD treatment, addiction science must be more responsive to research design
technologies and evidence-based findings from allied disciplines.
Jason Connor is a Principal Research Fellow in the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research at The University of Queensland, Australia. He also holds a National Health and Medical Research Council (NH & MRC) of Australia Fellowship. He is a clinical psychologist by training and a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Since moving from full-time clinical practice to academia (PhD, 2002), he has published 125 peer reviewed papers in the leading addiction (e.g. Addiction) and medical journals (e.g. Lancet). He has received over $8 AUD million in funding.
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