Author(s): Baltieri DA, Corra Filho JM
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Abstract AIMS: This study aimed to classify alcohol-dependent outpatients on the basis of clinical factors and to verify if the resulting types show different treatment retention. METHODS: The sample comprised 332 alcoholics that were enrolled in three different pharmacological trials carried out at São Paulo University, Brazil. Based on four clinical factors - problem drinking onset age, familial alcoholism, alcohol dependence severity, and depression - K-means cluster analysis was performed by using the average silhouette width to determine the number of clusters. A direct logistic regression was performed to analyze the influence of clusters, medication groups, and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) attendance in treatment retention. RESULTS: Two clusters were delineated. The cluster characterized by earlier onset age, more familial alcoholism, higher alcoholism severity, and less depression symptoms showed a higher chance of discontinuing the treatment, independently of medications used and AA attendance. Participation in AA was significantly related to treatment retention. DISCUSSION: Health services should broaden the scope of services offered to meet heterogeneous needs of clients, and identify treatment practices and therapists which improve retention. Information about patients' characteristics linked to dropout should be used to make treatment programs more responsive and attractive, combining pharmacological agents with more intensive and diversified psychosocial interventions. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.
This article was published in Eur Addict Res
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy