European Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ESRII) 2016
Four weeks have passed since I’ve attended the ESRII 2016 conference in Bergen, Norway. Apart from this being my first trip to Norway, this was also my first presentation at a major conference. Therefore, my expectations were high – like my nerves.
So what was special about the ESRII this year?
Overall, over 60 different presentations took place in just two days (the 22th and 23rd of September).
But the real beauty of this conference was that it was attended by a great variety of experts: mental health experts, nurses, IT-experts, but also business representatives from many different European countries. This diversity gave rise to interesting discussions and new perspectives about the development, use and implementation of internet interventions in various settings.
Since I’m relatively new in the field of eHealth I especially appreciated the broad variety of topics. Although ESRII stands for ‘European Society for Research on Internet Interventions’ the conference was by no means restricted to interventions. During these days I attended a wide variety of presentations, for instance, for the potential of new technologies, the implementation of internet intervention in existing environments, challenges in developing internet interventions, but also studies investigating attitudes of the general population on e-Health. This immense variety of topics, the fact that it’s free and open to the public, and the friendly community attending the ESRII make it the perfect place to get up-to-date on topics regarding eHealth.
Shortly after the keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Pim Cuijpers it was time to present our work.
As some of you might know internet interventions have previously proven effective in reducing the use of nicotine, alcohol, and cannabis. However, no previous meta-analysis has systematically investigated the effects of internet interventions on illicit substances, such as opioids, cocaine, and amphetamines. Therefore, we decided to investigate this topic by conducting a systematic review. Our findings suggest that there was a small but significant overall effect of internet interventions on substance use reduction when compared with the other conditions. These results support the notion that delivering treatment via the internet seem to be a promising solution for achieving substance use reduction in illicit substance users. Our article is currently under review for publication.
Finally, I’m very glad that I took part in the ESRII 2016 conference. It was very well organized and the quality of the presentations were excellent. In case you are interested in attending the next ESRII I suggest visiting the official website www.esrii.org.