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Functioning of adults in alcohol use disorder treatment: Role of concerned others.

Timko C, Grant KM, Mohankumar R, Cucciare MA. Functioning of adults in alcohol use disorder treatment: Role of concerned others. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2020 Jun 1; 113:108003.

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: This study examined patients in treatment for alcohol use disorders ("Patients") and their "concerned others" (COs-family and friends): (1) Did Patients' functioning differ according to COs' study participation? Among Patients with participating COs, (2) did Patients and COs agree on Patients' functioning, and (3) was Patients' functioning associated with COs' functioning and quality of CO-Patient relationships? METHOD: Four-hundred and two Patients (mean age  =  44, majority white men) and 277 COs (mean age  =  52, majority white women) completed validated assessments. RESULTS: (1) Unexpectedly, Patients who did not identify a CO for potential study participation had more protective factors against future substance use and more readiness to participate in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) than patients who did identify a CO. (2) Patients had higher scores than COs did when rating the Patient's protective factors, viewed the Patient-CO relationship as having more resources and fewer stressors than COs did, and reported fewer incidents of violence toward the CO than the CO did. (3) Patients had higher risk factors scores when their COs binge drank, and the Patient-CO relationship had more stressors and violence. Patients had higher protective factors scores when COs had greater readiness for Al-Anon participation, and Patients had attended more AA meetings, reported more resources in their relationship with their CO, and used more negotiation tactics when in conflict with their CO. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that interventions to improve Patients' functioning should be broadened beyond COs who are spouses or partners, decrease COs' binge drinking, facilitate 12-step participation, decrease relationship stressors and conflict, and increase relationship resources.





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