Study protocol for the family empowerment program: a randomized waitlist-controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of online Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) on the wellbeing of family members with a relative experiencing substance dependence and mental illness

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Systematic reviews consistently show that family-focused interventions are effective at improving substance treatment engagement and outcomes across the lifespan. Yet, Australian substance use treatment services rarely incorporate family members and concerned significant others. Testing of family focussed interventions in the Australian context is required.

METHODS: The trial is a randomized wait-list control trial assessing the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of online CRAFT with a parallel group. Participants will be randomised to receive either online CRAFT or to a wait-list control group who are provided with CRAFT related reading material during the waiting period. Outcomes will be assessed at baseline and then at 6- and 15-weeks post baseline. The primary outcome will be improved wellbeing of participating family members. The trial reporting will comply with SPIRIT guidelines.

DISCUSSION: This study will focus on people living in rural areas. Substance treatment programs are limited in rural Australia. The provision of the Family Empowerment Program (CRAFT) online should make family focused substance treatment support accessible and attainable for the first time in rural areas. The outcomes of this trial could have meaningful implications for the future funding and support of family focused substance treatment services that are inclusive of people with mental health conditions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ANZCTR, ACTRN12623000796684p, Registered 26 July 2023. Prospectively registered with protocol version 3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43
Pages (from-to)43
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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