Moderators of response to telephone continuing care for alcoholism

Am J Health Behav. Nov-Dec 2010;34(6):788-800. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.34.6.13.


Objectives: To evaluate potential moderators of the effect of adding extended telephone monitoring (TM) and telephone monitoring and counseling (TMC) continuing care to treatment as usual (TAU) for alcoholism. Continuing care was predicted to be more effective for patients with severe substance-use histories, poor initial response to treatment, and other risk factors for relapse.

Methods: Randomized study with 18-month follow-up. Outcomes were frequency of drinking and any drinking.

Results: Main effects favored TMC over TAU on alcohol outcomes. However, none of the 11 variables examined moderated these effects. Conversely, main effect and moderator analyses indicated TM was more beneficial than TAU only for women and for participants with lower readiness to change.

Conclusions: TMC improves drinking outcomes when added to standard care, regardless of alcohol use history, early response to treatment, or other risk factors for relapse. TM is recommended for women and less motivated patients.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Telephone