Participation in treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous: a 16-year follow-up of initially untreated individuals

J Clin Psychol. 2006 Jun;62(6):735-50. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20259.


This study focused on the duration of participation in professional treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for previously untreated individuals with alcohol use disorders. These individuals were surveyed at baseline and 1 year, 3 years, 8 years, and 16 years later. Compared with individuals who remained untreated, individuals who obtained 27 weeks or more of treatment in the first year after seeking help had better 16-year alcohol-related outcomes. Similarly, individuals who participated in AA for 27 weeks or more had better 16-year outcomes. Subsequent AA involvement was also associated with better 16-year outcomes, but this was not true of subsequent treatment. Some of the association between treatment and long-term alcohol-related outcomes appears to be due to participation in AA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholics Anonymous*
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Participation*
  • Treatment Outcome