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J Stud Alcohol. 1987 May;48(3):229-35.

Predictors of attrition from an outpatient alcoholism treatment program for couples.

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Department of Psychiatry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02906.


Applicants (N = 105, 22 women) to an outpatient alcoholism treatment research program for married couples were categorized into three classifications: (1) treatment refusers (N = 37), (2) treatment dropouts (N = 23) and (3) treated subjects (N = 45). Discriminant analyses were performed to determine the best predictors of eventual category from baseline data. Compared with those who consented to treatment, refusers were found to be younger, have shorter drinking histories and were less likely to have personally initiated contact with the treatment program. Dropouts were less likely than treated subjects to have made their own initial contact with the program, more likely to have depressive symptoms not associated with alcohol use and were not employed full time. Remaining in treatment was most strongly associated with marital factors--assignment of the couple to a marital therapy condition versus a treatment in which the spouse was not fully involved and the spouse's initial satisfaction with the marriage. Results are discussed in terms of the treatment implications for spouse involvement in treatment.

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