Engagement and Retention in Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment for Women

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Reviews of the dropout literature note significant attrition from addiction treatment. However, consistent predictors have not been identified and few studies have examined factors related to retention and engagement for women in gender-specific treatment. The current study consisted of 102 women and their partners randomized to individual or couples outpatient alcoholism treatment. Women attended more treatment sessions if they were assigned to individual treatment, older, had fewer symptoms of alcohol dependence, had more satisfying marital relationships, had spouses who drank, and had matched preference for treatment condition. Women were more engaged in treatment (ie, completed more assigned homework) if they had fewer children at home, fewer alcohol dependence symptoms, later age of onset of alcohol diagnosis, more satisfying marital relationships, and spouses who accepted or encouraged their drinking. Results highlight important associations of treatment and relationship variables with treatment retention and engagement.

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