Research and Development for Step Away

Dr. Patrick Dulin initially conceived the idea for Step Away and has been in charge of research and development efforts into this system since 2008.  Dr. Dulin is the founder & director of Here and Now Systems, LLC and is also an Associate Professor in the Clinical and Community Psychology Ph.D. Program at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA).  He has been a professor, researcher and licensed psychologist for over 15 years.

First Stage Research Funding

Funding for development and testing of a prototype version of Step Away was provided by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The prototype version,  called the “Location-Based Monitoring and Intervention System for Alcohol Use Disorders (LBMI-A).” was pilot tested with a group of individuals who were actively drinking heavily and met the DSM V criteria for an alcohol use disorder.  Twenty eight research participants, most of whom were interested in reducing their alcohol consumption, used the system for a brief time period (6 weeks) and were tested on numerous variables both before and after using the LBMI-A.  Results indicated that overall alcohol use dropped by over 50% and that their heavy drinking days (more than 5 drinks per day for men and 4drinks per day for women) dropped by more than 60%.

Professional Journals

Numerous publications of this study in professional journals are underway.  Two publications are currently available online:

Publication in Substance Abuse (pilot study outcomes)

Publication in Alcohol Treatment Quarterly (development process)

The Next Generation of Intervention

Development of Step Away was undertaken with a view toward LBMI-A user perceptions of the system.  Step Away is truly a “next-generation” system that contains many improvements, content changes and technical innovations that we are confident will result in even greater effectiveness as a clinical intervention tool. Like the LBMI-A, Step Away was developed with knowledge from decades of research into effective interventions for alcohol problems. Dr. Dulin is currently developing research proposals to determine long-term clinical outcomes of Step Away in a variety of different samples.

Technical Development

Catapult Consulting, LLC, a mobile app consulting firm in Anchorage, Alaska, collaborated with Dr. Dulin to bring Step Away from a revolutionary idea in self-help strategy to an empowering and potentially life-changing iPhone application. Catapult was responsible for both design and software engineering on Step Away.