Is controlled drinking an acceptable goal in the treatment of alcohol dependence? A survey of French alcohol specialists

Alcohol Alcohol. Sep-Oct 2011;46(5):586-91. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agr083. Epub 2011 Jul 18.


Aim: Assessing acceptance of controlled drinking (CD) among French alcohol specialists.

Methods: On-line survey of 547 French alcohol specialists. We searched factors associated with acceptance of CD, and factors that affected the specialists' selection of treatment goal. Criteria for success used by specialists in clinical practice were compared with criteria expected to be used in clinical trials.

Results: CD was accepted as a treatment goal by 48.6% of alcohol specialists (n = 105, n = 216), and 61.9% practiced CD for their own patients (n = 130, n = 210). Factors in selecting outcome goals were: patient's choice, perceived self-efficacy, relapse history and severity of dependence. Age, profession and basis of specialists' opinion on CD were associated with acceptance of CD.

Conclusion: Half of French alcohol specialists accept CD as a goal. Acceptance was associated with specialists' personal and professional characteristics. The criteria for success specialists use in their clinical practice differ from those they expect to be used in clinical trials.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / metabolism
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcohol Drinking / therapy*
  • Alcoholism / metabolism
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Alcoholism / therapy*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Data Collection
  • Electronic Mail
  • France
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Middle Aged
  • Software
  • Specialization
  • Temperance / psychology*