College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Aftercare Phone Contacts with Problem Drinkers Can Serve A Clinical and Research Function

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-1996

Keywords

Aftercare, Alcohol Drinking, Cognitive Therapy, Data Collection, Follow-Up Studies, Outcome and Process Assessment, Treatment Outcome

Publication Title

Addiction

ISSN

0965-2140

Volume

91

Issue/No.

9

Peer Reviewed

1

Abstract

Research staff typically gather treatment outcome data, whereas clinicians perform aftercare contacts. To date no alcohol treatment outcome study has examined the utility of therapists collecting outcome data through aftercare contacts. Using the Alcohol Timeline Followback (TLFB) method modified for clinical aftercare contacts, 154 problem drinkers who were part of a cognitive-behavioral intervention completed the modified TLFB with their primary therapist during aftercare telephone contacts conducted 1 and 3 months after their last treatment session. Clients reported their daily alcohol use over the past 30 days using four consumption categories (i.e. 0 drinks, 1-4 drinks, 5-9 drinks and 10+ drinks). At a 6-month follow-up research interview, a trained research assistant gathered standard TLFB data from the clients that included the time period for aftercare contacts. Correlations between the two TLFB formats showed good alternate form reliability, especially for frequency of alcohol use. Discrepancies between reports were positively associated with heavier pre-treatment and post-treatment drinking, suggesting possible memory biases among heavier drinkers. Subject reports also closely paralleled collateral reports of the subjects' drinking. These results support the utility of a brief TLFB instrument for use by therapists in assessing clients' outcomes by telephone during aftercare contacts

DOI

10.1111/j.1360-0443.1996.tb03621.x