MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Kristina J. Berglund
Department of Psychology
University of Gothenburg
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: In Sweden, care providers do offer different treatment strategies for individuals who have alcohol problems, where some offer a treatment where the goal is abstinence and other offer a treatment where the goal is low-risk consumption. We wanted to investigate how important it was for having a successful treatment when there was congruence between the patient’s goals and the advocated goal of the treatment, and when there was not.
The main findings was that that if the patient had a goal of abstinence than it was much more likely to reach that goal if the patient went to a treatment that advocated abstinence. It was less likely to reach the goal if a patient had a goal of low-risk consumption and went to a treatment that advocated low-risk consumption. The treatment that advocated abstinence was also more effective when the patient were ambivalent of his/her own goal.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: If you have alcohol problems and your goal is to be abstinent, find a treatment that advocates abstinence. If you do not know what you want yet, find a treatment that advocates abstinence. If you have a goal of low-risk consumption, our results from this study is more unclear about what to do. My suggestion so far is that you can either go to a treatment that advocates abstinence or a treatment that advocates low-risk-consumption. And if you want to have recommendations about what goal you should choose, results from other studies show that if you have a history of repeated failed attempts of having low-risk consumption, if you have severe withdrawal symptoms, if you have significant psychiatric or physical co-morbidity, if you use other medications that are considered dangerous when combined with alcohol, then it is recommended to have abstinence as a goal. If you have a less severe history of alcohol use, has never been treated or diagnosed for alcohol use disorders, and believes in self-efficacy over alcohol use and have a psychological, psychiatric and social stability, than low-risk consumption can be an alternative for you.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We do need more studies with larger samples and additional treatment settings. In this study we compared two different treatment settings. It cannot be excluded that the studied treatments themselves are different in their effectiveness in treating people with alcohol problems.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Berglund, K. J., Svensson, I., Berggren, U., Balldin, J. and Fahlke, C. (2016), Is There a Need for Congruent Treatment Goals Between Alcohol-Dependent Patients and Caregivers?. Alcohol Clin Exp Res, 40: 874–879. doi:10.1111/acer.13003
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