Brief Relationship Therapy for Alcoholism: A Randomized Clinical Trial Examining Clinical Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness

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The purpose of this study was to examine the clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness of brief relationship therapy (BRT), a shortened version of standard behavioral couples therapy (S-BCT), with alcoholic male patients (N = 100) and their nonsubstance-abusing female partners. Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 treatment conditions: (a) BRT, (b) S-BCT, (c) individual-based treatment (IBT), or (d) psychoeducational attention control treatment (PACT). Equivalency testing revealed that, compared with those assigned to S-BCT, participants who were randomly assigned to BRT had equivalent posttreatment and 12-month follow-up heavy drinking outcomes. Moreover, at 12-month follow-up, heavy drinking and dyadic adjustment outcomes for patients who received BRT were superior to those of patients who received IBT or PACT. BRT was significantly more cost effective than the S-BCT, IBT, or PACT.

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