Process and outcome changes with relapse prevention versus 12-Step aftercare programs for substance abusers

Addiction. 2002 Jun;97(6):677-89. doi: 10.1046/j.1360-0443.2002.00101.x.


Aims: Presumptive support was sought for mechanisms of action whereby two conceptually distinct aftercare programs, relapse prevention (RP) and 12-Step facilitation (TSF), impact upon substance abusers.

Patients and design: Adults who had just completed intensive treatment were assigned randomly to either RP (n=61) or TSF (n=70) aftercare programs.

Setting: Three residential treatment facilities.

Interventions: Trained counselors delivered to small groups a manualized aftercare program which focused either upon the utilization of cognitive-behavioral processes to orchestrate change through an individualized treatment plan (i.e. RP) or which sought to facilitate utilization of AA's 12 Steps (i.e. TSF).

Measurements: Process measures developed specifically to quantify either: (a) the changes in self-efficacy process in RP or (b) the utilization of AA's principles in TSF, as well as psychosocial and substance abuse indices were administered to all patients pre- and post-aftercare and at 6-month follow-up.

Findings: A significant relationship between changes in measures of self- efficacy for RP participants as well as a trend for a relationship between process-specific change for TSF participants partially satisfied the first condition for presumptive support. The fact that the intervention-specific mediators covaried with several outcome indices, and that removal of such mediators attenuated prediction of outcome met, respectively, the second and third conditions for presumptive support.

Conclusion: Carefully orchestrated RP and TSF aftercare programs yield process changes that are related positively to improved outcome.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare / methods*
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Recurrence
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*