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Forensic Sci Int. 1988 Jan;36(1-2):121-38.

The course of alcoholism. Long-term prognosis in different types.

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  • 1Psychiatric University, Vienna, Austria.


The disease concept of alcoholism was first introduced into the medical literature by Magnus Huss in 1984. Since that time many authors have attempted to define therapy-related sub-groups of chronic alcoholics but have been unsuccessful until now because alcoholism represents a complex development and becomes apparent in various clinical pictures. As the method of cross-sectional investigations does not seem to be able to produce reliable results, we performed a prospective long-term study of 444 alcoholics. The methodological claims in literature were taken into consideration like selection criteria, programmes and goals of therapy, follow-up rate and time, etc. Careful observation of the pertinent parts of the pathogenetic pathway leading to chronic alcoholism enabled the authors to establish 4 sub-groups of alcoholics relevant for treatment.

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