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J Stud Alcohol Suppl. 2005 Jul;(15):170-8; discussion 168-9.

A structured approach to medical management: a psychosocial intervention to support pharmacotherapy in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

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  • 1Addiction Treatment Research Center, University of Pennsylvania, 3900 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.



Given the national trend toward integrating substance abuse treatment into medical practice, experts in the field of alcoholism designed a psychosocial, medically based intervention to be used with pharmacotherapy in the COMBINE multisite national study, supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. A main purpose of the COMBINE Study is to investigate optimal treatment for patients with alcohol dependence by combining pharmacotherapy and psychosocial interventions.


The medically based intervention, called Medical Management (MM), was specifically constructed to be implemented by medically trained practitioners in nonspecialty settings. Each visit includes evaluations of medication safety and adherence, monitoring of alcohol use and direct advice to the patient for achieving full recovery.


There are several themes implicit in MM. Patient education about the disorder and about the treatment being provided are both essential. The clinician also educates the patient about how he or she has been affected by alcohol dependence. Information is given on how to take the medication(s) as prescribed, what the patient should expect from the medication(s) and what kinds of events the clinician will need to know about during treatment. Finally, the clinician and patient discuss strategies for ensuring medication safety and adherence to the prescribed regimen.


MM was easily implemented in the COMBINE Study with the aid of the MM Treatment Manual.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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