Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Desire To Stop Drinking Could Be More Important Than Therapy

Date:
July 21, 2005
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
The positive outcomes of therapy for alcoholism may have less to do with the therapy itself and more to do with participants' determination to quit. These are the findings of a study published today in the Open Access journal, BMC Public Health, which provides a new analysis of previous data from Project MATCH, a clinical trial of three common forms of therapy used for the treatment of alcoholism.

The positive outcomes of therapy for alcoholism may have less to do with the therapy itself and more to do with participants' determination to quit. These are the findings of a study published today in the Open Access journal, BMC Public Health, which provides a new analysis of previous data from Project MATCH, a clinical trial of three common forms of therapy used for the treatment of alcoholism. This analysis shows that the participants in the trial who attended all sessions did scarcely better than those who received no treatment. This contradicts previous analyses, which concluded that all three therapies for alcoholism were very effective.

Related Articles


The results highlight the importance of selection bias -- the distortion of a statistical analysis by self-selection of participants. Individuals who come forward to take part in trials such as Project MATCH might be more likely to have positive outcomes. "Alcoholics who decide to enter treatment are likely to reduce drinking. Those who decrease their drinking are more likely to remain in treatment", explain Robert Cutler and David Fishbain from the department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the University of Miami, the authors of the study.

A fundamental principle underlying the treatment of alcoholism, and other addictions, is that psychosocial therapy - therapy involving both group meetings and personalised sessions with psychologists - is effective.

Cutler and Fishbain re-examined data from Project MATCH -- a large trial carried out in the late 1990's, which concluded that therapy for alcoholism produced excellent outcomes, although the results were controversial and inconclusive.

Project MATCH assessed the effectiveness of three different therapies: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) and Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF). Cutler and Fishbain investigated the relationship between the number of therapy sessions attended and how successful project MATCH participants had been at reducing and abstaining from drinking. For all patients, drinking outcome was measured in two ways, percent days abstinent (PDA) and drinks per drinking day (DDD).

In one analysis, the participants of the study were divided into three groups: those who had attended either none, one, or all twelve of the treatment sessions. Overall, Cutler and Fishbain's data showed that participants who attended all twelve sessions had better outcomes, but there was only a very slight improvement over participants who attended no sessions. For participants who attended the twelve treatment sessions, PDA increased by 60% almost immediately, at week one, but increased by only a further four percent during the following 11 weeks of treatment. The researchers also found that participants who dropped out before the program even began had significantly better outcomes at the end of the program than those who dropped out after one session. In the long-term, the number of treatment sessions attended had a poor correlation with the outcome.

From the data, the authors conclude that "current psychosocial treatments for alcoholism are not particularly effective", and that "most of the improvement which is interpreted as treatment effect is not due to treatment". The authors attribute their findings to the importance of 'self-selection'; i.e., that patients who reduce their alcohol consumption are more likely to enter or remain in treatment, and those who are drinking are more likely to drop out of treatment. According to the authors if these patient characteristics are more important than attendance at therapy, then this "would have a profound influence on alcoholism treatment because it would shift focus away from treatment components and toward patient characteristics".

###

This press release is based on the article:
Are alcoholism treatments effective? The project MATCH data
Robert B Cutler and David A Fishbain
BMC Public Health 2005, 5:75 (14 July 2005)

This article is available free of charge, according to BMC Public Health's Open Access policy at:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/5/75/abstract


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "Desire To Stop Drinking Could Be More Important Than Therapy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 July 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070513.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2005, July 21). Desire To Stop Drinking Could Be More Important Than Therapy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070513.htm
BioMed Central. "Desire To Stop Drinking Could Be More Important Than Therapy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/07/050720070513.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AAA: Distracted Driving a Serious Teen Problem

AP (Mar. 25, 2015) While distracted driving is not a new problem for teens, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says it&apos;s much more serious than previously thought. (March 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Smartphone Use Changing Our Brain and Thumb Interaction, Say Researchers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) European researchers say our smartphone use offers scientists an ideal testing ground for human brain plasticity. Dr Ako Ghosh&apos;s team discovered that the brains and thumbs of smartphone users interact differently from those who use old-fashioned handsets. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Many Don't Know They Have Alzheimer's, But Their Doctors Do

Newsy (Mar. 24, 2015) According to a new study by the Alzheimer&apos;s Association, more than half of those who have the degenerative brain disease aren&apos;t told by their doctors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

A Quick 45-Minute Nap Can Improve Your Memory

Newsy (Mar. 23, 2015) Researchers found those who napped for 45 minutes to an hour before being tested on information recalled it five times better than those who didn&apos;t. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins