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Subst Abus. 1998 Jun;19(2):81-91.

Stage of Change as a Predictor of Abstinence Among Alcohol-Dependent Subjects in Pharmacotherapy Trials.

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  • 1University of Connecticut Health Center, Alcohol Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, MC2103, Farmington, Connecticut 06030.


In order to evaluate the stages of change model as a predictor of abstinence among alcoholics, we examined abstinence rates at the end of treatment and at a 6-month posttreatment follow-up in 113 alcohol-dependent subjects participating in two 12-week, placebo-controlled pharmacotherapy trials. Hierarchical logistic regression was used to examine the predictive validity of stages of change variables. At the end of treatment and at follow-up, individuals with a higher predisposition toward action were more likely to be abstinent. Subjects who received an active medication (buspirone or fluoxetine) were more likely also to remain abstinent during the 6-month posttreatment follow-up. Scores on measures of precontemplation, contemplation, and maintenance failed to predict abstinence either at the end of treatment or at follow-up. Although none of the stages of change measures were associated with treatment completion, married or cohabiting individuals were more likely to complete treatment. Despite that scores on the precontemplation, contemplation, and maintenance subscales were not associated with abstinence, a measure of readiness for action contributed significantly to the prediction model.

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