Motivational intervention: An individual counselling vs a group treatment approach for alcohol-dependent in-patients

TitleMotivational intervention: An individual counselling vs a group treatment approach for alcohol-dependent in-patients
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsJohn, U, Veltrup, C, Driessen, M, Wetterling, T, Dilling, H
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Date PublishedMay-Jun
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0735-0414 (Print)0735-0414 (Linking)
Accession Number12711662
Keywords*Counseling, *Psychotherapy, Group, Alcoholism/psychology/*therapy, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Intervention Studies, Male, Motivation, Self-Help Groups/utilization, Substance Abuse Treatment Centers, Temperance/psychology, Treatment Outcome

AIMS: The present study aimed to evaluate whether individual counselling for alcohol-dependent patients in three sessions is as effective as a 2-week group treatment programme as part of an in-patient stay in a psychiatric hospital which was to foster motivation to seek further help and to strengthen the motivation to stay sober. Of particular importance was the external validity of the results, i.e. a 'normal' intake load of in-patients in detoxification and a wide variety of motivation to stop drinking were to be investigated. METHODS: Subjects eligible for the study were all patients with alcohol problems admitted to a psychiatric hospital, but without psychosis, as the main diagnosis, and with a maximum of 10 detoxification treatments in the past. A randomized-controlled trial was conducted with 161 alcohol-dependent in-patients who received three individual counselling sessions on their ward in addition to detoxification treatment and 161 in-patients who received 2 weeks of in-patient treatment and four out-patient group sessions in addition to detoxification. Both interventions followed the principles and strategies of motivational interviewing. RESULTS: Six months after intervention, group-treatment patients showed a higher rate of participation in self-help groups; however, this difference had disappeared 12 months after treatment. The abstinence rate among the former patients did not differ between the two intervention groups. CONCLUSION: Group treatment may lead to a higher rate of participation in self-help groups, but does not increase the abstinence rate 6 months after treatment.

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