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 addiciton can be implimented in low-resources settings by non clinicians. In fact, our group is investigating how smartphones might be used to impliment 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 sucess of alcohol treatments, as well as provide valuable research tools.      

Importantly all of my ressearch studies are conducted in collaboration with two communities that suffer dispproporationately high rates of alcohol and drug miuse, 1) adults with severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and 2) American Indians and Alaska Natives. My reserach 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

Automated Reinforcement Management System (ARMS): focused phase I provider feedback.
(2022 Mar 26)
Addict Sci Clin Pract 17(1): 20
Smith CL, Rodin NM, Hwang JY, Miguel AQC, Johnson K, McDonell MG, McPherson SM

Concordance Between Point-of-Care Urine Ethyl Glucuronide Alcohol Tests and Self-Reported Alcohol Use in Persons with HIV in Uganda.
(2022 Feb 1)
AIDS Behav
Alcover KC, Emenyonu NI, Fatch R, Kekibiina A, Marson K, Chamie G, Muyindike WR, Beesiga B, Kamya MR, Lodi S, Kane JC, Hahn JA, McDonell MG

Contingency management for alcohol use disorder reduces cannabis use among American Indian and Alaska Native adults.
(2022 Jun)
J Subst Abuse Treat 137(): 108693
Hirchak KA, Lyons AJ, Herron JL, Kordas G, Shaw JL, Jansen K, Avey JP, McPherson SM, Donovan D, Roll J, Buchwald D, Ries R, McDonell MG, HONOR Study Team.

Effectiveness of incorporating contingency management into a public treatment program for people who use crack cocaine in Brazil. A single-blind randomized controlled trial.
(2022 Jan)
Int J Drug Policy 99(): 103464
Miguel AQC, McPherson SM, Simões V, Yamauchi R, Madruga CS, Smith CL, da Silva CJ, Laranjeira RR, McDonell MG, Roll JM, Mari JJ

Post-traumatic stress disorder among persons with HIV who engage in heavy alcohol consumption in southwestern Uganda.
(2021 Sep 18)
BMC Psychiatry 21(1): 457
Kekibiina A, Adong J, Fatch R, Emenyonu NI, Marson K, Beesiga B, Lodi S, Muyindike WR, Kamya M, Chamie G, McDonell MG, Hahn JA

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