To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Age-Based Differences in Treatment Outcome Among Alcohol-Dependent Women

The literature suggests that women are at higher risk for negative consequences from alcohol use than men and that these risks are compounded by age.

The current study investigated how alcohol-dependent women from different age groups might differ in terms of baseline functioning and treatment response.

The sample consisted of 181 participants drawn from two randomized clinical trials of cognitive–behavioral treatments for alcohol-dependent women. Demographic and psychopathology data were obtained at baseline using the SCID (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM disorders) I for Axis I disorders and the SCID II or Personality Disorders Questionnaire for Axis II disorders. Social networks data were collected using the Important People and Activities Interview. Drinking data were collected at baseline and follow-up using the Timeline Follow Back Interview.

ANOVAs revealed that older women had better psychosocial functioning in terms of being better educated and reporting fewer Axis I disorders. Also, older women had more supportive social networks in terms of more people, a smaller percentage of heavy drinkers, and a nondrinking spouse. Older women reported a less severe lifetime substance use history with a later age of first drink, later onset of alcohol use disorders, fewer lifetime abuse/dependence items, and less drug use. However, they reported drinking more frequently and more heavily over the 90 days prior to treatment. Finally, older women were more compliant with treatment and responded better by reducing drinking frequency and percentage of heavy drinking days.

Suggestions to enhance treatment efficacy for younger women are made as well as suggestions for future research.

Read Full Abstract

Request Reprint E-Mail: