Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Pilot trial of a telehealth-delivered behavioral economic intervention promoting cannabis-free activities among adults with cannabis use disorder.

Coughlin LN, Bonar EE, Wieringa J, Zhang L, Rostker MJ, Augustiniak AN, Goodman GJ, Lin LA. Pilot trial of a telehealth-delivered behavioral economic intervention promoting cannabis-free activities among adults with cannabis use disorder. Journal of psychiatric research. 2023 Jul 1; 163:202-210.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Cannabis is increasingly consumed and increasingly perceived as harmless. Among those whose use develops into a cannabis use disorder (CUD), < 5% initiate and engage in treatment. Thus, novel options for low-barrier, appealing treatments are needed to foster engagement in care. METHODS: We conducted an open trial of a telehealth-delivered multicomponent behavioral economic intervention for non-treatment-engaged adults with CUD. Participants with CUD were recruited from a health system and screened for eligibility. Participants completed behavioral economic indices (cannabis demand, proportionate cannabis-free reinforcement), measures of cannabis use and mental health symptoms, and provided open-ended feedback on the intervention experience. RESULTS: Of the 20 participants who enrolled and engaged in the initial intervention session, 70% (14 out of 20) completed all intervention components. All participants were satisfied/very satisfied with the intervention and 85.7% reported the telehealth delivery made it at least slightly easier/more likely for them to receive substance use care. Baseline to immediate post-treatment, behavioral economic cannabis demand decreased (intensity: Hedges'' g  =  0.14, maximum total expenditure: Hedges'' g  =  0.53, maximum expenditure for a single hit: Hedges'' g  =  0.10) and proportionate cannabis-free reinforcement (Hedges'' g  =  0.12) increased. Past-month total cannabis use decreased by 8.9% from baseline to post-treatment (Hedges'' g  =  0.39), along with decreases in recent depression (Hedges'' g  =  0.50) and anxiety symptoms (Hedges'' g  =  0.29). DISCUSSION: These preliminary findings suggest that this behavioral economic intervention was highly acceptable and feasible for adults with untreated CUD. Changes in potential mechanisms of behavior change (cannabis demand, proportionate cannabis-free reinforcement) were consistent with reduced frequency of cannabis use and improved mental health outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.