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Monday, December 12, 2011

An intervention to increase alcohol treatment engagement: A pilot trial

Previous research has documented the difficulty individuals with alcohol use disorders have initiating alcohol treatment.

This study assessed the feasibility of a brief, cognitive–behavioral intervention designed to increase treatment initiation among individuals with alcohol use disorders.

This randomized controlled trial included 196 participants who screened positive for a possible alcohol use disorder on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. Randomly assigned intervention participants were administered a brief cognitive–behaviorally-based intervention by telephone designed to modify beliefs that may interfere with treatment-seeking behavior. Beliefs about treatment and treatment-seeking behavior were assessed postintervention.

Participants receiving the intervention had significantly improved their attitudes toward addiction treatment (p < .002) and increased their reported intention-to-seek treatment (p < .000) postintervention. Further, intervention participants were almost three times more likely to attend treatment within a 3-month period (odds ratio = 2.60, p < .025) than participants in the control group.

A brief, cognitive–behavioral intervention delivered by telephone and focused on modifying treatment-interfering beliefs holds promise for increasing alcohol treatment seeking among individuals in need.

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