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Long-Term Follow-Up of Behavioral Self-Control Training:

William R. Miller, A. Lane Leckman, Harold D. Delaney, Martha Tinkcom

Four samples of problem drinkers treated by behavioral self-control training were evaluated at 3.5, 5, 7 and 8 years following treatment, respectively. Of 140 cases, 99 (71%) were accounted for: 23 abstinent, 14 with controlled and asymptomatic drinking, 22 improved but still impaired, 35 unremitted and 5 deceased. Abstinent versus controlled-drinking outcomes were most strongly differentiated by pretreatment severity of alcohol problems and dependence and by the patients' pretreatment self-assessment and goals. Percentages of abstainers and of relapsed cases increased at long-term follow-ups. A reasonably constant percentage of known outcomes (14%) were clearly controlled and asymptomatic drinkers in each of the follow-up samples. Most of the long-term controlled drinkers had established this pattern within the first year following treatment. However, periods of controlled drinking during the first year did not reliably predict maintenance of this pattern. Successful asymptomatic drinkers were discriminable from other outcomes based on pretreatment characteristics. (J. Stud. Alcohol 53: 249-261, 1992)