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Table 1 Main characteristics of identified publications

From: The effectiveness of attentional bias modification for substance use disorder symptoms in adults: a systematic review

Authors, year Study Participants ABM intervention Outcomes Findings
  Design; country Characteristics Substance use disorder N Gender; mean age Method Amount of sessions Duration AB measure Symptom measures  
Attwood et al., 2008 [21] Randomised trial; 2 groups (attend and avoid); UK Current smokers, smoking at least 5 cigarettes per day Nicotine 54 56% male; 22 Modified visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 1 Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) FTND; QSU-Brief AB at baseline; sig. changes of AB in avoid group; sig. difference in subjective craving between attend and avoid group in males only
Begh et al., 2015 [22] Double-blind randomised controlled trial; 2 groups (ABM and placebo); UK Current smokers, smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day Nicotine 118 –; 45 Modified visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 5 5 weeks Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms); pictorial Stroop task MPSS-C; abstinence; time until relapse No AB at baseline; no sig. changes of AB; no difference between groups in craving; abstinence and time until relapse
Charles et al., 2015 [37] Non-randomised trial; 4 groups (patient and healthy controls, both assigned to either ABM or placebo); UK Opiate users in treatment prescribed a substitute medication; healthy controls Opiate 44 Mainly male; 38–45 (reported per group) Modified visual probe task (pictures) 1 Unclear Visual probe task (pictures; 200, 500 ms) Subjective craving (3 VAS scales) No AB at baseline; no sig. effect on AB or craving
Cox et al., 2015 [35] Randomised trial; 4 groups (ABM, motivational intervention, ABM + motivational intervention, control group); UK Adults drinking above the UK Department of Health cut-off of healthy drinking Alcohol 148 49% male; 29 Alcohol Attention-Control Training Programme (pictures) 4 4 weeks Alcohol Stroop task (words) DRQ; SIP; RTCQ AB at baseline and changes of AB not reported; alcohol consumption reduced in ABM group
Elfeddali et al., 2016 [23] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); Netherlands Adults smoking on daily basis for at least 1 year Nicotine 434 31% male; 41 Modified visual probe task (web-based; pictures; 500 ms) 6 Within 2 weeks Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) FTND; craving; intention to quit smoking AB at baseline; no sig. changes of AB; effects on abstinence in subsample of heavy smokers
Fadardi and Cox, 2009 [13] Non-randomised trial with 3 groups (social drinkers, harmful drinkers, hazardous drinkers); UK Social, hazardous, and harmful adult drinkers Alcohol 40; 68; 92 14% male, 28% male, 87% male; 30, 23, 41 Alcohol Attention-Control Training Programme (pictures) 0; 2; 4 4 weeks Alcohol Stroop task (words) RTCQ; TAAD; SIP AB at baseline (larger in harmful and hazardous drinkers than in social drinkers); sig. changes of AB in harmful and hazardous drinkers; harmful drinkers showed reduced alcohol consumption and increased readiness to change
Field and Eastwood, 2005 [24] Randomised trial with 2 groups (attend and avoid); UK Adult heavy drinkers, drinking at least 14 units (women) or 21 units (men) of alcohol per week on average Alcohol 40 50% male; 22 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 1 Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) AUDIT; DAQ; craving (pre/post training); taste test No AB at baselinea; sig. changes of AB in avoid group; no effects on urge to drink and desire for alcohol; attend group consumed more alcohol than avoid group in taste test
Field et al., 2007 [33] Randomised trial with 3 groups (attend, avoid, and control); UK Adults drinking above the UK Department of Health ‘safe’ cut-off of healthy drinking Alcohol 60 43% male, 43% male, 67% male; 22, 22, 26 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 1 Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms); alcohol Stroop task (words) Alcohol use disorders identification test; DAQ; urge to drink; taste test No AB at baseline; sig. changes of AB in avoid group without generalisation to new stimuli and different task; no group difference in alcohol consumption, urge to drink, and consumption of beer in taste test
Kerst and Waters, 2014 [25] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and control group); US Current smokers, smoking 10 or more cigarettes per day for the past 2 years Nicotine 60 50% male; 43 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 21 (3 each day for 7 days) 1 week Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) QSU; craving; cigarettes smoked per day; physical measures AB at baseline; sig. changes of AB in ABM group; no effect on smoking behaviour; sig. effect on cued craving but not on non-cued craving in ABM group
Lee and Lee, 2015 [26] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and psychoeducation); South Korea Adult problem drinkers as identified with the AUDIT Alcohol 43 40% male; 22 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000 ms)   Free-viewing task with eye-tracker (pictures; 1000 ms) Consumed alcohol during last month; AAAQ; AUDIT; RTCQ AB at baseline; sig. changes of AB in ABM group; no effect on readiness to change
Lopes et al., 2014 [34] Randomised trial with 3 groups (3 sessions ABM, 1 session ABM and placebo); Brazil Adult smokers from a smoking cessation programme, smoking at least 5 cigarettes a day Nicotine 67 65% male; 45 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 50, 500, and 2000 ms) 1 or 3 2 weeks Visual probe task (pictures; 50, 500, 2000 ms) FTND; level of carbon monoxide; Smoking Urge-Brief AB at baseline; sig. changes of AB in all groups after 24 h; reduction of AB maintained for 6 months after 3 sessions of ABM; no effect on craving and number of smoked cigarettes
Mayer et al., 2016 [27] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); US Treatment-seeking adults diagnosed with cocaine use disorder used in at least 4 of prior 30 days Opiate 40 63% male; 38 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 200, 500 ms) 5 4 weeks Visual probe task (pictures; 200, 500 ms) Cocaine use; CCQ-G; CSSA; FTND; BIS; AUDIT; BDI-2; STAI-T No AB at baseline; no sig. changes of AB; no effect on craving, or drug use behaviour
McGeary et al., 2014 [28] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); US Heavy drinking students as identified with the AUDIT Alcohol 41 100% male; 19 Modified dot probe task with words (500 ms) 8 4 weeks Not assessed DHQ No AB at baseline reported an no changes in AB assessed; reduced amount of alcohol consumption in ABM group
McHugh et al., 2010 [29] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); US Adult smokers, smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day Nicotine 64 65% male; 38 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 1 Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms) FTND; TLFB; QSU-Brief No AB at baseline; no sig. changes of AB; no effect on craving
Schoenmakers et al., 2007 [30] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); Netherlands Heavy drinking students as identified with a self-report questionnaire Alcohol 106 100% male; 21 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 500 ms) 1 Visual probe task (pictures; 500 ms); flicker task Preference test; craving No AB at baselinea; smaller AB in ABM group compared with control group at post-test without generalisation; no effect on craving and preference test
Schoenmakers et al., 2010 [31] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM and placebo); Netherlands Adults diagnosed with alcohol dependence Alcohol 43 77% male; 45 Modified dot probe task (pictures; 200, 500 ms) 5 3 weeks Visual probe task (pictures; 200, 500 ms) DAQ; Time to relapse No AB at baselinea; sig. changes of AB in ABM group; no effect on craving, but time until relapse longer in ABM group
Wiers et al., 2015 [36] Randomised trial with 5 groups (4 experimental conditions and one placebo group); Netherlands Heavy drinking adults as identified with the AUDIT Alcohol 314 -; 48 Alcohol Attention Control Training Programme 4 2–14 days Alcohol consumption; craving; RCQ No AB at baseline and changes in AB assessed; reduction of drinking and craving, but this was found in all conditions including control group
Ziaee et al., 2016 [32] Randomised trial with 2 groups (ABM + TAU and TAU only); Iran Adults undergoing methadone maintenance therapy Opiate 48 100%; 33 in experimental group, 39 in control group Drug attention control training (words and pictures) 3 2 weeks Drug-Stroop task (words) SCQ; RTCQ; PSS; Persian drug temptation questionnaire No AB at baseline reported; sig. changes of AB in ABM group; decreased doses of medicine and number of lapses and increase in readiness to change in ABM group
  1. aBased on calculations from data derived from tables or figures (see supporting information)