Outcomes from primary care management of alcohol dependence in France

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Jun;36(4):457-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2008.08.006. Epub 2008 Oct 5.


A prospective study assessed the outcome in a sample of 122 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition alcohol-dependent patients in primary care. Standardized questionnaires collected clinical, social, and management data during 875 visits over an 18-month follow-up. A time-event analysis identified outcome predictors. Forty-three percent of patients attempted at least one detoxification during follow-up, one out of three in a hospital. Despite a very high relapse rate (83%), only 14% of the patients attempted a repeated abstinence. Longest and cumulative durations of abstinence appeared to be very close, corresponding to 29% of the follow-up time. The frequency of visits (risk ratio [RR] = 1.08) and visits addressing alcohol consumption (RR = 1.73) significantly lead to detoxification. In this French sample, management by the general practitioners appears to be a positive predictor of outcome in alcohol dependence. Future research could (a) enlighten the relationship between detoxification and frequency or circumstances of the visits and (b) tell whether formal planned follow-up by general practice physicians could improve outcome in alcohol dependence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Family
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / organization & administration*
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Temperance
  • Treatment Outcome