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Newcomers to Al-Anon family groups: Who stays and who drops out?
Timko C, Laudet A, Moos RH. Newcomers to Al-Anon family groups: Who stays and who drops out? Addictive Behaviors. 2014 Jun 1; 39(6):1042-9.
Al-Anon Family Groups (Al-Anon), a 12-step mutual-help program for people concerned about another's drinking, is the most widely used form of help for concerned others (COs) in the US. This study assessed the prevalence of dropout, and predictors of dropout, in the six months following newcomers' initial attendance at Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon's World Service Office mailed a random sample of groups, which subsequently yielded a sample of 251 newcomers who completed surveys at baseline and 6 months later. At the 6-month follow-up, 57% of newcomers at baseline had dropped out (had not attended any Al-Anon meetings during the past month). At baseline, individuals who later dropped out of Al-Anon were less likely to have been referred to Al-Anon by their drinker's health care provider, and reported less severe problems than individuals who continued to attend, but dropouts were more often concerned about their drinker's psychological health; newcomers with these concerns may have found them incompatible with Al-Anon's philosophy. Dropouts reported high rates of problems, suggesting that COs who drop out of Al-Anon would benefit from ongoing help and support.