A randomized control trial of a chronic care intervention for homeless women with alcohol use problems

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2015 Apr;51:19-29. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Nov 21.


A clinician-randomized trial was conducted using the chronic care model for disease management for alcohol use problems among n = 82 women served in a health care for the homeless clinic. Women with problem alcohol use received either usual care or an intervention consisting of a primary care provider (PCP) brief intervention, referral to addiction services, and on-going support from a care manager (CM) for 6 months. Both groups significantly reduced their alcohol consumption, with a small effect size favoring intervention at 3 months, but there were no significant differences between groups in reductions in drinking or in housing stability, or mental or physical health. However, intervention women had significantly more frequent participation in substance use treatment services. Baseline differences and small sample size limit generalizability, although substantial reductions in drinking for both groups suggest that screening and PCP brief treatment are promising interventions for homeless women with alcohol use problems.

Keywords: Alcohol abuse; Chronic care model; Homeless women; Primary care; Randomized trial.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Psychotherapy, Brief / methods
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Time Factors