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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Sep;31(2):157-62. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

Therapeutic alliance and the relationship between motivation and treatment outcomes in patients with alcohol use disorder.

Author information

  • 1Center for Health Care Evaluation, Department of Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. mark.ilgen@med.va.gov


Although motivational readiness to change predicts alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment outcomes, little is known about treatment aspects that are helpful for patients with low motivation. We examined whether a positive therapeutic alliance is particularly beneficial for patients entering AUD treatment with low motivation. Among Project MATCH outpatients (n = 753), we tested the influence of motivation, therapeutic alliance, and their interaction on 6-month and 1-year alcohol use. The impact of motivation on alcohol use varied depending on therapists' perceptions of alliance. Interactions involving treatment compliance did not mediate the Motivation x Alliance interaction. Thus, a positive therapeutic relationship may be particularly important for patients with low motivation, but mechanisms underlying this possible patient-treatment "match" remain to be determined.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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