Soyka, Michael; Schmidt, Peggy: Outpatient alcoholism treatment-24-month outcome and predictors of outcome. In: Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy 2009, 4:15




Objectives: To study the value of demographic and alcohol-related variables for predicting 24-month treatment outcome in an outpatient setting. Methods: Prospective observational study with 92 alcohol-dependent patients. Assessments were made by personal interviews at the beginning and end of therapy, and at the 24-month follow-up. Univariate and logistic regression analyses were performed. Results: The mean age was 46.0 (SD = 9.9) years. There were 58 males (65.2%) and 31 females (34.8%). Of the 67 patients interviewed at 2-year follow-up, 58% were abstinent and 79% improved. Differences between abstainers and non-abstainers were found for number of previous detoxifications, and number of patients attempted suicides. In addition, female gender and a higher number of prior treatments predicted negative treatment outcome. Conclusion: Matching patients to different types of treatment by means of empirically based characteristics may help to improve outcome but research has failed to establish reliable predictors in that area. Data from this follow-up study confirm the role of certain clinical outcome predictors. Additionally, results give further evidence for outpatient treatment as an effective setting for alcohol-dependent patients as indicated by a favourable retention rate (84%) and outcome (minimum abstinence rate 44%).