Patient reactance as a moderator of the effect of therapist structure on posttreatment alcohol use

TitlePatient reactance as a moderator of the effect of therapist structure on posttreatment alcohol use
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsKarno, MP, Longabaugh, R, Herbeck, D
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
PublisherAlcohol Research Documentation
Place PublishedUS
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number1937-18881938-4114
Accession Number2010-02052-012
KeywordsAftercare, aftercare patients, Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol dependence, Alcoholism, Client Attitudes, clinical trials, Outpatients, patient reactance, posttreatment alcohol use, therapist structure, Therapists, treatment effectiveness, Treatment Effectiveness Evaluation

Objective: We sought to replicate findings about the effect of therapist-imposed structure on alcoholism-treatment effectiveness for aftercare patients at different levels of interpersonal reactance and to examine if the effect generalizes to patients in a primary phase of treatment. Method: Analyses were based on ex post facto observer ratings combined with outcome data from a randomized clinical trial. Participants had alcohol abuse or dependence (N = 247) and received treatment at either a primary outpatient treatment site (n = 125) or an aftercare site (n = 122) of Project MATCH (Matching Alcoholism Treatments to Client Heterogeneity). Patients’ trait reactance and therapist structure were assessed via observer ratings based on videotaped therapy sessions. Dependent variables included percentage days abstinent, percentage heavy-drinking days, time to first drinking day, and time to first heavy-drinking day throughout a 1-year posttreatment period. Results: The results indicated that increased therapist structure during aftercare treatment predicted fewer abstinent days and more heavy-drinking days for persons at a high level of reactance than for persons at a low level of reactance. The effect was a consistent predictor of alcohol use throughout each 3-month interval within the follow-up period. The interaction effect was not supported in the primary outpatient treatment sites, and it was not supported as a predictor of time to first drink or time to first heavy drink in either the aftercare or the outpatient sites. Conclusions: This study successfully replicated the finding that level of patient reactance appears to moderate the effect of therapist structure on alcohol-use outcomes in aftercare treatment settings. The lack of support for this effect in primary outpatient treatment settings suggests that the negative effect of structured treatment may be limited to patients who are further along in the recovery process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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