Integrating a brief motivational treatment for problem drinkers in a private outpatient clinic

TitleIntegrating a brief motivational treatment for problem drinkers in a private outpatient clinic
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsCisler, RA, Barrett, DE, Zweben, A, Berger, LK
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0734732415444538

The integration of brief alcohol treatment into an array of existing treatment services has been a challenge for clinical administrators despite the mounting evidence supporting brief treatment approaches. The present study examines the utility of a brief alcohol treatment program through an evaluation of client characteristics, use of program services, and preliminary program outcomes. Subjects were 256 clients receiving a Drinking Check-Up (DCU) program within a large, for-profit, private-practice-model, behavioral health services clinic. A process and outcome evaluation was conducted that included: (1) A detailed description of all clients enrolled in the DCU program; (2) A description of client utilization of DCU and other program services; and (3) A preliminary outcome evaluation of a subset of DCU participants. Analyses revealed nearly all (98%) clients who attended an initial screening/assessment session also attended a feedback/treatment planning session with about 59% attending at least one and 36% attending at least two drinking “check-ups.” Finally, follow-up data revealed abstinence or low-to-moderate drinking by nearly all DCU clients, few negative consequences, low levels of subsequent alcohol and psychiatric service utilization and relatively high levels of satisfaction with the DCU. Implications of findings for behavioral health services administrators and researchers are discussed.

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