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Monday, August 12, 2013

Group management of pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence: Feasibility and impact on adoption

One of the barriers to initiating patients on medications for alcohol dependence is concern about the work involved in providing ongoing medication management. In this brief report, we describe our initial experiences with a medication management group, initially implemented to provide continued access during a staffing shortage.

We describe the group structure and functioning, and provide initial analysis of the groups’ impact on access and adoption of pharmacotherapy for alcohol dependence.
Results of an interrupted time series analysis in one Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility provide support for the notion that the group format is not only feasible but can actually increase access to these under-utilized medications (e.g., naltrexone and acamprosate).

The number of patients receiving these medications was already increasing in this facility before the switch to group appointments, but this rate of initiation increased almost 3-fold after the onset of the groups.

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