Send to

Choose Destination
J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010 Sep;71(5):726-33.

Change plan as an active ingredient of brief motivational interventions for reducing negative consequences of drinking in hazardous drinking emergency-department patients.

Author information

Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, 121 South Main Street, Room 530, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA.



Few studies have examined the effects of brief motivational intervention components, such as change-plan completion, on treatment outcomes. This secondary analysis of an opportunistically recruited emergency-department sample of hazardous injured drinkers examines the potential predictive role of an alcohol-related change plan on treatment outcomes after accounting for pretreatment readiness. Written change plans were independently rated.


A mediational analysis framework tested directional hypotheses between pretreatment readiness, change plan, and treatment outcomes using linear regressions. The baseline total Drinker Inventory of Consequences (DrInC) score was covaried on 12-month DrInC total score, in all analyses. Participants who completed a brief motivational intervention and a change plan were included (N = 333).


Pretreatment readiness was negatively associated with alcohol consequences at 12 months, (beta = -.09, t(254) = -2.07, p < .05, and good-quality change plans, (beta = .18, t(320) = 4.37, p < .001. With change plan and readiness in the same model, the relationship between readiness and treatment outcomes became nonsignificant, but change plan remained a significant predictor of treatment outcomes in the expected direction, beta = -.17, t(254) = -2.89, p < .01. Follow-up generalized linear modeling including an interaction term (change plan and pretreatment readiness) revealed that those with high readiness and a good-quality change plan versus those with low readiness and a poor-quality change plan had better-than-predicted outcomes for either readiness or change plan alone.


Study findings suggest that the change plan in brief motivational intervention may be an active ingredient of treatment associated with better outcomes over and above the influence of pretreatment readiness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Dartmouth Journal Services Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center