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J Stud Alcohol. 1989 May;50(3):236-44.

A prospective study of treatment outcome with a group of male problem drinkers.

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Hunter Drug Advisory Service, NSW, Australia.


The present study was a follow-up of a group of young male problem drinkers (N = 96) presenting to a community-based treatment facility. Clients were assessed before and a minimum of twelve months after a set of brief treatment programs using a number of drinking- and nondrinking-related measures of functioning and corroborative information from a collateral. Regular contact was maintained with clients and collaterals throughout the follow-up period. Follow-up assessment data were available for 80 (83.3%) clients and collateral information for 84 (88%) clients. There were no significant differences found at follow-up between treatments used. There were, however, significant improvements evident on all measures of functioning in the total client group. Using stepwise discriminant analyses, clients classified as problem drinkers at follow-up were found to have higher scores on indices of problem drinking (including alcohol consumption, blackouts and legal charges) at their pretreatment assessment. Multiple regression analyses revealed that the best pretreatment predictors of client functioning at follow-up were measures of alcohol-related problems (accidents, jail, hangovers, morning drinking and deterioration). Factors limiting the interpretability and generalizability of these findings are discussed with particular reference to sample size and idiosyncrasies.

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