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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Integration of self-guidance groups for relatives in a public program of alcoholism treatment

Interventions with relatives of alcohol-dependent patients have shown effictiveness in engaging unmotivated patients into treatment. The Federation of ex-alcoholics, in the Community of Madrid, has a network of self-help centers (Centers to Promote Psychosocial Alternatives against Addictions, CPAA) spread throughout the Madrid’s region where alcohol-dependent patients and their families receive attention.

The aim of this study was to demonstrate that the integration of these facilities could improve the psychological condition of the relatives and the outcome on the patients’ treatment.

188 patients attending the treatment program at "Hospital 12 de Octubre" and their relatives were randomized into two groups: Group A (n=94) (Standard program for patients and relatives delivered at our facility) and Group B (n=94) (where patients were treated with the standard program in our facilities and relatives attended a family group intervention at the CPAA)

After 12 weeks, the CPAA conditions were significantly more effective than our standard program in improving psychological distress of relatives and in engaging patients into treatment. Patients belonging to group B had fewer drinking days during the treatment period.

Our results support that psychological interventions delivered at CPAA centers are useful in improving psychological conditions of alcoholic patients’ relatives than when undertaking the public alcoholism program. This intervention also improves outcome of alcoholic patients.

The integration of these centers within public alcoholism treatment programs could provide a new way to treat alcoholism, based on collaboration of public facilities and patient associations.

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