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Group psychotherapy (PT) is one of the most common interventions used to treat alcohol dependence (AD), and it is assumed to be effective. Despite its common clinical use, long-term trials that have been conducted to examine the efficacy of group PT in the treatment of outpatients with AD are limited and often lack appropriate comparisons. On that basis, a long-term comparative trial was performed with the main objective of evaluating the effectiveness of continuing group PT for outpatients with AD. Quasi-experimental trial was conducted from January 2004 to May 2010 in 177 AD subjects who had completed an inpatient 10-week alcohol treatment program. Abstinence rates of the combined group (experimental group: outpatient individual PT plus group PT, N = 94) and the standard outpatient individual PT-only group (comparison group, N = 83) were statistically compared using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Predictive factors of abstinence rate for alcohol were assessed using Cox regression analysis. Abstinence rates of the combined PT group were significantly high relative to those of the outpatient individual PT-only group. Significant predictive factors for the alcohol abstinence rate were outpatient group PT and age. Even after controlling for confounding factors, outpatient group PT was a significant predictive factor for the alcohol abstinence rate. Our findings indicate that for AD patients who had completed an inpatient 10-week alcohol treatment, outpatient group PT appears to be an effective form of continuing care or aftercare within the context of an outpatient service delivery system. Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.


Jee Wook Kim, Yong Sung Choi, Kyung Chul Shin, Ok Hwa Kim, Dong Young Lee, Myung Hun Jung, Boung Chul Lee, Tae-Cheon Kang, Ihn-Geun Choi. The effectiveness of continuing group psychotherapy for outpatients with alcohol dependence: 77-month outcomes. Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research. 2012 Apr;36(4):686-92

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PMID: 21950637

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