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ERIC Number: EJ1006778
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-006X
The Effects of Drinking Goal on Treatment Outcome for Alcoholism
Bujarski, Spencer; O'Malley, Stephanie S.; Lunny, Katy; Ray, Lara A.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, v81 n1 p13-22 Feb 2013
Objective: It is well known to clinicians and researchers in the field of alcoholism that patients vary with respect to drinking goal. The objective in this study was to elucidate the contribution of drinking goal to treatment outcome in the context of specific behavioral and pharmacological interventions. Method: Participants were 1,226 alcohol-dependent individuals enrolled in a large, multisite trial of combined behavioral intervention, acamprosate, and naltrexone. Drinking goal was coded as follows: (a) controlled drinking, (b) conditional abstinence, and (c) complete abstinence. Results: Analysis revealed a main effect of drinking goal on percent days abstinent (p less than 0.0001), days to relapse to heavy drinking (p less than 0.0001), and global clinical outcome (p less than 0.001). These results were such that a goal of complete abstinence was associated with the best outcomes, followed by conditional abstinence; controlled drinking was associated with the poorest outcomes. Conversely, a main effect of drinking goal was observed on drinks per drinking day (p less than 0.01), such that controlled drinking was associated with fewer drinks per drinking day whereas complete abstinence was associated with the highest number of drinks per drinking day. Combined behavioral intervention performed better than medical management alone for participants whose drinking goal was not complete abstinence. Conclusion: These results suggest that drinking goal represents a highly predictive clinical variable and should be an integral part of the clinical assessment of patients with alcohol dependence. Assessment of patients' drinking goals may also help match patients to interventions best suited to address their goals and clinical needs. (Contains 5 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A