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Alcohol Res Health. 1999;23(2):78-85.

Cognitive-behavioral coping-skills therapy for alcohol dependence. Current status and future directions.

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  • 1Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


Cognitive-behavioral coping-skills training (CBST) is an alcoholism treatment approach aimed at improving the patients' cognitive and behavioral skills for changing their drinking behavior. CBST encompasses a variety of approaches that despite their core similarities differ in duration, modality, content, and treatment setting. Numerous studies and reviews have ranked CBST among the most effective approaches for treating alcoholic patients. Nevertheless, a recent analysis of nine studies failed to identify specific CBST components that could account for the treatment's effectiveness. Furthermore, a similar analysis of 26 studies suggested that CBST's superior effectiveness was limited to specific treatment contexts (i.e., when delivered as part of a comprehensive treatment program) and to specific patient subgroups (e.g., patients with less severe alcohol dependence). Several measures may help broaden CBST's focus and effectiveness, such as incorporating components of other treatment approaches.

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