Titel: BreinDeBaas – Innovative behavioral change techniques in alcohol addiction treatment at Tactus Addiction Care: Cognitive Bias Modification

Type opdracht: Ma

In –of extern?: both Standplaats UT PGT & Tactus Verslavingszorg (Enschede)

Max. aantal studenten mogelijk: 2

Zelf data verzamelen? Yes

Type onderzoek: Qualitative/quantitative


Tactus Addiction Care has developed the evidence-based online treatment for problematic alcohol use, To further improve the effectiveness of this treatment innovative techniques are explored that may be added to this online platform. Recently, a PhD project started in which a cognitive bias modification (CBM) training technique based on the approach-avoidance computer task (AAT), was adapted for use online within the Alcoholdebaas platform. This new treatment is called Breindebaas. In addition to the online computer-based AAT-CBM we also developed a mobile version. An app has been built that runs the AAT-CBM on a smartphone, using swipe movements to simulate the approach vs avoid responses.


In Breindebaas we have two distinct projects, each offering a combined internship+masterthesis vacancy:


Internship + M-thesis for Breindebaas online

The online CBM will be evaluated in a RCT in which two groups are compared: a control group receiving the usual Alcoholdebaas treatment protocol only, and an experimental group receiving Alcoholdebaas including the CBM training (Breindebaas). This RCT has started last year and recruitment of new participants is still running. At the end of this year the first n=50 patients will have completed te full treatment and follow-ups.

In the internship, the student will be involved in the following tasks:


Recruitment of new patients;


Monitoring and supporting Tactus Alcoholdebaas counselors;


Assisting the Phd on several activities


Data management for the RCT (downloading patient data, cleaning the data, and preparing dataset for analyses);


Assisting Tactus staff on other projects if available (optional)

The master thesis will involve an analysis of treatment effectiveness, based on all complete participants available this Fall. Effects of Breindebaas on both implicit cognitions (approach bias towards alcohol) and behavior (alcohol use reduction or abstinence) will be the main outcome measures. Secondary analyses may include subgroup differences in effects (moderator-analyses), such as a comparison of full adherent participants with less adherent participants.


Internship + M-thesis for Breindebaas app

The app will soon be in its final design stage and needs to be pilot-tested first. When finally approved, the app will be offered online in app stores. This will generate a first group of users, that will be invited to participate in research.

This internship will include the following activities:


Preparing and conducting a pilot (pre-test) with the app among volunteers


Debriefing the app designers on the outcomes of the pre-test


Preparing the launch of the app in app stores


Marketing communication (PR) aimed at disseminating the app among users


Preparing research among initial app downloaders (study design, questionnaires)


Assisting Tactus staff on other projects if available (optional)

The master thesis will involve both a quantitative study (a single group pretest-poststest design study on the effects of the app on alcohol approach bias and on alcohol consumption) and a qualitative formative evaluation among a small sample of users (experiences with using the app on locations, usability, social acceptance, etc.)

Wie zoeken we? Students with an interest in this topic, that are able to visit Tactus locations regularly (mostly Enschede, occasionally also at other locations in the eastern region).

Wat bieden we?

A versatile internship/thesis combination on an exciting new ehealth applications, in which you become acquainted with working in an addiction care organisation.

Meer info?: Marloes Postel (

Begeleiders: Marcel Pieterse ( Marloes Postel (