Send to

Choose Destination
Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2016 Apr;40(4):874-9. doi: 10.1111/acer.13003. Epub 2016 Mar 12.

Is There a Need for Congruent Treatment Goals Between Alcohol-Dependent Patients and Caregivers?

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.



Alcohol-dependent patients have different treatment goals when entering treatment. Furthermore, different treatment settings advocate different treatment goals. Earlier studies have pointed out that treatment goal is important for treatment outcome, both in the treatment setting as well as in the patients themselves. However, to our knowledge, no study has so far investigated the interaction between patient's goal and the goal of the treatment setting. The aim of the study was therefore to study the interaction between these 2 factors on treatment outcome.


Patients' (n = 201) goals from 2 treatment settings-one that had an abstinence-oriented goal and one with a low-risk drinking goal-were investigated. The patients were followed up 2.5 years after treatment entry and effectiveness of congruent treatment goals on treatment outcome was investigated.


There was no significant association between congruent goals and treatment outcomes (p = 0.060). However, when comparing the effectiveness of congruent treatment goal between the 2 treatment settings, the abstinence-oriented treatment setting was significantly more effective (p < 0.01).


The major finding was that there appeared to be no association between congruence itself and treatment outcome. On the other hand, we found that the treatment outcome was more successful if the patient as well as the treatment setting had abstinence as a goal (i.e., congruent goals of abstinence).


Abstinence; Alcohol-Dependent Patients; Congruent Drinking Goals; Low-Risk Drinking; Treatment Settings

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center