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Outcome of a Controlled Trial of the Effectiveness of Intensive Case Management for Chronic Public Inebriates
Gary B. Cox, R. Dale Walker, Steven A. Freng, Bruce A. Short, Lucia Meijer, Lewayne Gilchrist
Objective: The objective of this study was to test whether an intensive case management intervention would be effective with a group of homeless chronic public inebriate clients. The primary goals of the case management were to improve the financial and residential stability of the clients and to reduce their use of alcohol. Method: Subjects (N = 298, 81% male) were interviewed at baseline, randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions and given follow-up interviews at 6-month intervals for 2 years. Case management services were provided for the duration of the project. Follow-up rates for the first three interviews averaged 82%. Results: Repeated measures MANCOVAs showed significant group differences favoring the case-managed group in all three areas targeted by the intervention: total income from public sources, nights spent in own place out of the previous 60 nights and days drinking out of the previous 30 days. The results held whether the three variables were analyzed jointly or separately and for alternative measures of drinking and homelessness. Although statistically significant, the group differences are generally not large. Conclusions: The results indicate that case management had a beneficial effect on the clients receiving it. This effect may have been the result of an increase in services received by the case-managed clients. (J. Stud. Alcohol 59: 523-532, 1998)