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Alcohol. 2002 Aug;28(1):57-62.

Short-term treatment for alcohol-related problems: four-session guided self-change versus one session of advice--a randomized, controlled trial.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Center for Addiction, STAD, Crafoords väg 6, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to compare two short-term treatments for alcohol-related problems. The study was performed at an outpatient clinic for substance misuse, and subjects (65 men and 28 women) were recruited through advertisements in the local newspaper. The subjects were randomized to either a four-session guided self-change group or a one-session advice group. Alcohol consumption, degree of alcohol dependence, negative consequences of drinking, and health-related quality of life were measured or assessed, respectively, by using the timeline follow-back technique, the Short Alcohol Dependence Data (SADD) questionnaire, The Drinker Inventory of Consequences questionnaire, and the Nottingham Health Profile questionnaire. Biological markers for high alcohol consumption [carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (gamma-GT) levels] were analyzed. All assessments were made at baseline and at 9- and 23-month follow-up periods after treatment. Self-reported alcohol consumption was significantly reduced (P <.0001) in both treatment groups at the 23-month follow-up period, as were measures of alcohol dependence, negative consequences of drinking, and health-related quality of life, whereas no corresponding reduction was found in CDT or gamma-GT values. No statistically significant differences in self-reported alcohol consumption were found between the two groups. Patient satisfaction was significantly higher with the four-session guided self-change treatment than with the one session of advice. This finding seems to indicate that individuals, although suffering from alcohol-related problems of relatively low severity, appreciate more time with a therapist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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