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Concerned others' help utilization and patients' alcohol treatment outcomes.

Timko C, Rossi FS, Grant KM, Lor MC, Cucciare MA. Concerned others' help utilization and patients' alcohol treatment outcomes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2021 Nov 1; 228:108983.

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BACKGROUND: This study of dyads composed of patients in treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) and their Concerned Others (COs) examined (1) COs'' attendance at three types of help (educational sessions, treatment sessions with the patient, and treatment sessions without the patient) during a 3-month period after patients'' admission, and (2) whether COs'' use of help was associated with better treatment outcomes reported by COs about patients, and patients about themselves. METHODS: Dyads (n? = 277) were assessed when patients entered AUD treatment and 3 months later (80 %). COs rated their patient''s AUD, and patients rated their own AUD, on the Brief Addiction Monitor. At 3-month follow-up, COs answered three items about help (education, treatment with patient, treatment without patient) from their patient''s treatment program. Main analyses were analyses of covariance to examine associations between COs'' help use and patients'' outcomes. RESULTS: At 3-month follow-up, COs who had obtained one type of help were significantly more likely to have also obtained the other two types of help. However, relatively few COs (39 %) obtained any type of help. COs who obtained help rated their patient as having more protection against future substance use. And, when COs had obtained help, patients rated themselves as having less risk of future substance use, and had attended a greater number of AA meetings, than when COs had not obtained help. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that COs'' use of help can benefit patients in AUD treatment. Clinicians and researchers should increase the availability and use of help among COs.

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