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Moderators of Response to Telephone Continuing Care for Alcoholism

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Objectives : To evaluate potential moderators of the effect of adding extended telephone monitoring (TM) and telephone monitoring and counseling (TMC) continuing care to treatment as usual (TAU) for alcoholism. Continuing care was predicted to be more effective for patients with severe substance-use histories, poor initial response to treatment, and other risk factors for relapse.

Methods : Randomized study with 18-month follow-up. Outcomes were frequency of drinking and any drinking.

Results : Main effects favored TMC over TAU on alcohol outcomes. However, none of the 11 variables examined moderated these effects. Conversely, main effect and moderator analyses indicated TM was more beneficial than TAU only for women and for participants with lower readiness to change.

Conclusions : TMC improves drinking outcomes when added to standard care, regardless of alcohol use history, early response to treatment, or other risk factors for relapse. TM is recommended for women and less motivated patients.
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Keywords: alcohol dependence; alcohol use outcomes; continuing care; moderator effects; telephone interventions

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1 Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Publication date: 01 November 2010

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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