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Interventions to Improve Post-Detoxification Treatment Engagement and Alcohol Recovery: Systematic Review of Intervention Types and Effectiveness.

Livingston N, Ameral V, Hocking E, Leviyah X, Timko C. Interventions to Improve Post-Detoxification Treatment Engagement and Alcohol Recovery: Systematic Review of Intervention Types and Effectiveness. Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire). 2022 Jan 8; 57(1):136-150.

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AIMS: Most inpatient alcohol detoxification patients do not seek treatment post-discharge, which increases the risk of relapse and re-hospitalization. To date, there have been no efforts to synthesize the evidence supporting the broad range of available interventions for this critical transition. The current study is a systematic review and evaluation of interventions designed to promote treatment engagement and recovery following alcohol detoxification. METHODS: The initial literature search yielded 6419 articles, published since 1999, from PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection and PsycARTICLES databases, 49 of which were eligible for full review. Data extraction included in-depth evaluation of intervention types, study and research design features, reported outcomes and study quality/bias indicators. All articles were coded by independent raters and final results were obtained through consensus. RESULTS: Interventions included medical/medication, psychological/psychosocial, technological, mutual-help and combined approaches. On average, medical/medication interventions were less, and psychological/psychosocial and technological interventions were more likely to demonstrate efficacy with respect to treatment engagement and recovery. There was significant variability in study quality/bias but no significant differences across intervention types. Studies differed considerably across measured outcomes, internal and external validity, in/exclusion criteria and documentation of co-occurring psychiatric disorders. CONCLUSION: Over half of studies reviewed reported empirical support for the intervention(s) evaluated. Although findings slightly favor non-medical interventions, the variability in study design and quality/bias requires more rigorous follow-up research. Recommendations from this review may guide future implementation and intervention development, which are critically needed to improve post-detoxification care and outcomes for patients with alcohol use disorder.

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