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

Effectiveness of incorporating contingency management into a public treatment program for people who use crack cocaine in Brazil. A single-blind randomized controlled trial.
(2021 Oct 4)
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

Onset of alcohol use disorder among alcohol initiates by race/ethnicity.
(2021 Aug 16)
Alcohol 97(): 13-21
Alcover KC, Lyons AJ, Oluwoye O, Muse ID, Kelly ME, McDonell MG

Associations Between Physiological Signals Captured Using Wearable Sensors and Self-reported Outcomes Among Adults in Alcohol Use Disorder Recovery: Development and Usability Study.
(2021 Jul 21)
JMIR Form Res 5(7): e27891
Alinia P, Sah RK, McDonell M, Pendry P, Parent S, Ghasemzadeh H, Cleveland MJ

Development of Automated Reinforcement Management System (ARMS): Protocol for a Phase I Feasibility and Usability Study.
(2021 Jul 19)
JMIR Form Res 5(7): e25796
Miguel A, Smith C, Perea N, Johnson K, McDonell M, McPherson S

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