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March 7, 2021

Imagination could be key to beating booze

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People who want to drink less alcohol are being urged to join a study of a newly developed treatment that has shown promising initial results on drinking and on increasing physical activity.

QUT Faculty of Health Professor David Kavanagh said his team was recruiting for the next phase of his research program testing if the new treatment — Functional Imagery Training (FIT) — helps people successfully cut down on their drinking.

‘FIT harnesses the power of imagery to help people stay motivated and to resist temptation.  The treatment shows people how they can use their imagination to achieve their goals,’ Professor Kavanagh said.

‘Twenty-one per cent of Australian adults drink alcohol at levels that put them at risk for alcohol-related illness and injury over their lifetime.

‘People in regional and rural areas are 32 per cent more likely than urban dwellers to be drinking at high-risk levels.

‘Cutting back on alcohol can be hard, and many people find they struggle to maintain their changes over time.

‘FIT uses imagination, a tool we all already possess, to help people not just cut down, but to maintain those positive changes over time.’

The technique has previously been used by researchers at QUT to help people to quit smoking, and to stay on track to reach fitness goals.

‘This study delivers FIT over the phone, so the treatment can be accessed all over Australia,’ Professor Kavanagh said.

‘Research has shown phone treatments to be just as effective as treatments delivered in person.’

The treatment is free of charge and the study is open to anyone aged 18 and older who has more than 14 standard drinks per week, and is experiencing some problems from their drinking.

For more information or to volunteer, call 1300 300 164 or email [email protected]


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