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Communication Skills Training, Communication Skills Training with Family and Cognitive Behavioral Mood Management Training for Alcoholics:

Peter M. Monti, David B. Abrams, Jody A. Binkoff, William R. Zwick, Michael R. Liepman, Ted D. Nirenberg, Damaris J. Rohsenow

To evaluate three promising social learning approaches to the treatment of alcoholism, 69 male alcoholics in standard inpatient treatment participated in either a communication skills training group (CST), a communication skills training group with family participation (CSTF) or a cognitive behavioral mood management training group (CBMMT). Alcoholics who received CST or CSTF drank significantly less alcohol per drinking day during 6-month follow-up than those in CBMMT. The groups did not differ in abstinence rates or latency to relapse. All groups improved in skill and anxiety on the extensive battery of process measures, including role-play tests of general and alcohol-specific coping skills, but those in CST improved most in skill in alcohol-specific high-risk role plays and in ability to relax after the role plays. Alcoholics' skill, response latency, anxiety and urge to drink during alcohol-specific role plays were highly correlated with treatment outcome, demonstrating the importance of including comprehensive process measures in treatment outcome research. Implications for patient-treatment matching and future research are discussed. (J. Stud. Alcohol 51: 263-270, 1990)