Michael McDonell, PhD

Personal Statement

My primary interest is on determining how behavioral technologies can be used to improve alcohol and drug abuse outcomes for those suffering from addiction health disparities. Behavioral technologies are non-talk therapy approaches to addiction treatment, such as motivational incentives where we provide rewards for people who abstain from or reduce their drinking. This low-cost, strength based approach to addiction can be implemented in low-resources settings by non clinicians. In fact, our group is investigating how smartphones might be used to implement this treatment, allowing us to reach the millions of individuals suffering from alcohol problems worldwide.  

My second research interest in evaluating the accuracy of alcohol biomarkers in addiction treatment settings. These include alcohol urine tests, such as ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and mobile phone linked Bluetooth breathalyzers. These tools allow us to accurately assess  the success of alcohol treatments, as well as provide valuable research tools.      

Importantly all of my research studies are conducted in collaboration with two communities that suffer disproportionately high rates of alcohol and drug misuse, 1) adults with severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and 2) American Indians and Alaska Natives. My research team and I work closely with community partners who are providing addiction treatment to these populations with the goal of reducing the burden of alcohol and drug use in these communities. 

Recent Publications

Adapting a Financial Incentives Intervention for Smoking Cessation with Alaska Native Families: Phase 1 Qualitative Research to Inform the Aniqsaaq (To Breathe) Study.
(2024 Apr 20)
Nicotine Tob Res
Sinicrope PS, Tranby BN, Young AM, Koller KR, King DK, Lee FR, Sabaque CV, Prochaska JJ, Borah BJ, Decker PA, McDonell MG, Stillwater B, Thomas TK, Patten CA

Mobile Medication Adherence Platform for Buprenorphine (MAP4BUP): A Phase I feasibility, usability and efficacy pilot randomized clinical trial.
(2024 Mar 1)
Drug Alcohol Depend 256(): 111099
McPherson SM, Smith CL, Hall L, Miguel AQ, Bowden T, Keever A, Schmidt A, Olson K, Rodin N, McDonell MG, Roll JM, LeBrun J

Feasibility of a telehealth-based contingency management intervention for alcohol use disorders using the phosphatidylethanol (PEth) 16:0/18:1 alcohol biomarker: a pilot randomized trial.
(2024 Jan 29)
Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse
Jett JD, Beck R, Tyutyunnyk D, Sanchez J, Weeks DL, Javors MA, Hill-Kapturczak N, Lopez-Cruzan M, Kriegel L, Ginsburg BC, Cabassa L, McDonell MG

Addressing the Spectrum of Opioid Misuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery in Rural Washington State Communities: Provider Identified Barriers and Needs.
(2024 Apr)
Community Ment Health J 60(3): 600-607
Kriegel LS, Hampilos K, Weybright E, Weeks DL, Jett J, Hill L, Roll J, McDonell M

Financial incentives for reduced alcohol use and increased isoniazid adherence during tuberculosis preventive therapy among people with HIV in Uganda: an open-label, factorial randomised controlled trial.
(2023 Dec)
Lancet Glob Health 11(12): e1899-e1910
Chamie G, Hahn JA, Kekibiina A, Emenyonu NI, Beesiga B, Marson K, Fatch R, Lodi S, Adong J, Thirumurthy H, McDonell MG, Gandhi M, Bryant K, Havlir DV, Kamya MR, Muyindike WR

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