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Z Psychosom Med Psychother. 2006;52(4):341-57.

[Stabilisation of abstinence by means of psychoeducation for patients with alcoholic liver disease awaiting liver transplantation].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Psychosomatische Medizin und Psychotherapie der Universität Duisburg-Essen.



A manualised six-month psychoeducational intervention was conducted in patients with alcoholic liver disease and abstinence problems who were waiting for a transplantation.


In a naturalistic design it was investigated whether the intervention could improve patients' alcohol abstinence.


Between January 2002 and November 2003, 72 patients were enrolled in the therapeutic intervention, 48 of whom participated in group therapy. Health-related quality of life (SF-12), anxiety and depression (HADS-D), symptom strain (BSI) and social support (F-SOZU) were measured. Alcohol abstinence was examined in each group session by measuring the alcohol concentration in breath.


At the beginning and end of the group therapy patients showed subsyndromal measures of anxiety and depression and minor symptoms of psychopathology. Physical quality of life was reduced (t = -8.694; df = 44; p < .001). Mental quality of life was in the range of the normative sample and was correlated with depression (r = -0.400; p = .009). Patients perceived high social support (t = 8.213; df = 45; p < .001). During the course of therapy four patients had relapses but the remaining patients stayed abstinent. Physical quality of life improved (t = -2.275; df = 27; p = .031), mental quality of life and symptom strain remained stable.


The therapy presented here facilitated a stabilisation of mental well-being in patients with alcoholic liver disease who were waiting for organ transplantation. The relapse rate measured by alcohol concentration in breath remained low.

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