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The Remote Food Photography Method and SmartIntake App for the Assessment of Alcohol Use in Young Adults: Feasibility Study and Comparison to Standard Assessment Methodology.

The Remote Food Photography Method and SmartIntake App for the Assessment of Alcohol Use in Young Adults: Feasibility Study and Comparison to Standard Assessment Methodology.

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The Remote Food Photography Method and SmartIntake App for the Assessment of Alcohol Use in Young Adults: Feasibility Study and Comparison to Standard Assessment Methodology.

JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2018 Sep 24;6(9):e10460

Authors: Fazzino TL, Martin CK, Forbush K

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Heavy drinking is prevalent among young adults and may contribute to obesity. However, measurement tools for assessing caloric intake from alcohol are limited and rely on self-report, which is prone to bias.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of our study was to conduct feasibility testing of the Remote Food Photography Method and the SmartIntake app to assess alcohol use in young adults. Aims consisted of (1) quantifying the ability of SmartIntake to capture drinking behavior, (2) assessing app usability with the Computer System Usability Questionnaire (CSUQ), (3) conducting a qualitative interview, and (4) comparing preference, usage, and alcohol use estimates (calories, grams per drinking episode) between SmartIntake and online diet recalls that participants completed for a parent study.
METHODS: College students (N=15) who endorsed a pattern of heavy drinking were recruited from a parent study. Participants used SmartIntake to send photographs of all alcohol and food intake over a 3-day period and then completed a follow-up interview and the CSUQ. CSUQ items range from 1-7, with lower scores indicating greater usability. Total drinking occasions were determined by adding the number of drinking occasions captured by SmartIntake plus the number of drinking occasions participants reported that they missed capturing. Usage was defined by the number of days participants provided food/beverage photos through the app, or the number of diet recalls completed.
RESULTS: SmartIntake captured 87% (13/15) of total reported drinking occasions. Participants rated the app as highly usable in the CSUQ (mean 2.28, SD 1.23). Most participants (14/15, 93%) preferred using SmartIntake versus recalls, and usage was significantly higher with SmartIntake than recalls (42/45, 93% vs 35/45, 78%; P=.04). Triple the number of participants submitted alcohol reports with SmartIntake compared to the recalls (SmartIntake 9/15, 60% vs recalls 3/15, 20%; P=.06), and 60% (9/15) of participants reported drinking during the study.
CONCLUSIONS: SmartIntake was acceptable to college students who drank heavily and captured most drinking occasions. Participants had higher usage of SmartIntake compared to recalls, suggesting SmartIntake may be well suited to measuring alcohol consumption in young adults. However, 40% (6/15) did not drink during the brief testing period and, although findings are promising, a longer trial is needed.

PMID: 30249590 [PubMed]

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