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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2014 May-Jun;46(5):553-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.01.006. Epub 2014 Jan 17.

Prospective associations among approach coping, alcohol misuse and psychiatric symptoms among veterans receiving a brief alcohol intervention.

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Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Electronic address:
Center for Health Care Evaluation, VA Palo Alto Health Care System.
Center for Mental Healthcare and Outcomes Research, Central Arkansas Veterans Affairs Healthcare System; Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.


Brief alcohol interventions (BAIs) target alcohol consumption and may exert secondary benefits including reduced depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among non-veteran and veteran populations. This study examined whether approach coping, alcohol misuse, and an interaction of these two factors prior to the administration of a BAI (i.e., baseline) would predict depression and PTSD symptoms 6-months post BAI (i.e., follow-up). Veterans (N=166) received a BAI after screening positive for alcohol misuse during a primary care visit and completed assessments of alcohol misuse, approach coping, and depression and PTSD symptoms at baseline and follow-up. Baseline substance misuse, but not approach coping, significantly predicted depression and PTSD symptoms at follow-up. Approach coping moderated associations between baseline alcohol misuse and psychiatric symptoms: Veterans reporting more alcohol misuse and more (relative to less) approach coping at baseline evidenced fewer psychiatric symptoms at follow-up after accounting for symptoms assessed at baseline.


Alcohol misuse; Approach coping; Brief alcohol intervention (BAI); Depression; Veteran

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