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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Improved Drinking Behaviour Improves Quality of Life: A Follow-Up in Alcohol-Dependent Subjects 7 Years After Treatment


The present study relates alcohol-dependent patients' Quality of Life (QoL) 7 years after treatment to drinking status as the conventional endpoint of trials. Potential moderating factors such as patients' smoking status, additional healthcare usage and stressful life events were accounted for.

Seven years after being treated for alcoholism, n = 127 alcohol-dependent patients filled out the Munich List of Quality of Life Dimensions (MLDL), a generic QoL questionnaire and were re-examined in telephone interviews. Patients' drinking and smoking behaviours during the previous year and additional healthcare usage and whether or not they had experienced stressful life events during the whole follow-up period were assessed.                    

Patients reporting abstinence or improved drinking showed significantly higher QoL ratings than patients whose drinking had not improved. Smoking status had no significant effect on QoL. Patients who used additional healthcare during the follow-up period reported lower QoL. The same was true of those who had experienced stressful life events.

Improved drinking after a 7-year follow-up is associated with improved QoL even when considering other factors such as additional healthcare use and stressful life events. We conclude that QoL can be an additional endpoint in treatment trials.

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