Gender differences in the efficacy of brief interventions with a stepped care approach in general practice patients with alcohol-related disorders

Dept. of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Luebeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Luebeck, Germany.
Alcohol and Alcoholism (Impact Factor: 2.09). 03/2008; 43(3):334-40. DOI: 10.1093/alcalc/agn004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To analyse gender differences in the efficacy of stepped care brief interventions for general practice patients with alcohol problems.
Data are part of "Stepped Interventions for Problem Drinkers," in which 10,803 patients from 85 general practitioners were screened using alcohol related questionnaires; 408 patients were randomized (32% were female) to a control (booklet only) or two different intervention groups: stepped care (feedback, manual, and up to three counselling sessions depending on the success of the previous intervention) and fixed care (four sessions). Response rate for the 12 months follow-up was 91.7%.
Regression analysis revealed a significant effect size only in women (P = 0.039). After excluding alcohol dependents and binge drinkers, an effect size (R(2)) of 0.031 (P = 0.050) in women and an effect size (R(2)) of 0.069 (P = 0.057) in men was obtained. Among the patients in stepped care who, by the first assessment point, had reduced drinking to within safe-drinking limits, there was a tendency for females to have achieved this more often than males (40% vs. 24%; P = 0.089).
In a heterogeneous sample, the intervention was only effective for women. Women tended to profit more from the first, less intensive intervention than men. When analysis was limited to those reporting "at risk" average daily consumption and "alcohol abuse," the gender differences in efficacy appeared to be less, but the study was not sufficiently powered to affirm that.

Download full-text


Available from: Gallus Bischof, Aug 25, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT\BACKGROUND:Mood and anxiety disorders are highly prevalent and have a large impact on the lives of the affected individuals. Therefore, optimal treatment of these disorders is highly important. In this study we will examine the effectiveness of a stepped care program for primary care patients with mood and anxiety disorders. A stepped care program is characterized by different treatment steps that are arranged in order of increasing intensity. METHODS: This study is a randomised controlled trial with two conditions: stepped care and care as usual, whereby the latter forms the control group. The stepped care program consists of four evidence based interventions: (1) Watchful waiting, (2) Guided self-help, (3) Problem Solving Treatment and (4) Medication and/or specialized mental health care. The study population consists of primary care attendees aged 18-65 years. Screeners are sent to all patients of the participating general practitioners. Individuals with a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders (DSM) diagnosis of major depression, dysthymia, panic disorder (with or without agoraphobia), generalized anxiety disorder, or social phobia are included as well as individuals with minor depression and anxiety disorders. Primary focus is the reduction of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Both conditions are monitored at 8, 16 and 24 weeks. DISCUSSION: This study evaluates the effectiveness of a stepped care program for patients with depressive and anxiety disorder. If effective, a stepped care program can form a worthwhile alternative for care as usual. Strengths and limitations of this study are discussed. Trial registration: Current Controlled Trails: ISRCTN17831610
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tobacco control in the 21(st) century faces many of the same challenges as in the past, but in different contexts, settings and enabled by powerful new tools including those delivered by information and communication technologies via computer, videocasts, and mobile handsets to the world. Building on the power of electronic networks, Web-assisted tobacco interventions (WATI) provide a vehicle for delivering tobacco prevention, cessation, social support and training opportunities on-demand and direct to practitioners and the public alike. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, the world's first global public health treaty, requires that all nations develop comprehensive tobacco control strategies that include provision of health promotion information, population interventions, and decision-support services. WATI research and development has evolved to provide examples of how eHealth can address all of these needs and provide exemplars for other areas of public health to follow. This paper discusses the role of WATI in supporting tobacco control and introduces a special issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research that broadens the evidence base and provides illustrations of how new technologies can support health promotion and population health overall, empowering change and ushering in a new era of public eHealth.
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 02/2008; 10(5):e48. DOI:10.2196/jmir.1171 · 4.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Web-based self-help interventions for problem drinking are coming of age. They have shown promising results in terms of cost-effectiveness, and they offer opportunities to reach out on a broad scale to problem drinkers. The question now is whether certain groups of problem drinkers benefit more from such Web-based interventions than others. We sought to identify baseline, client-related predictors of the effectiveness of Drinking Less, a 24/7, free-access, interactive, Web-based self-help intervention without therapist guidance for problem drinkers who want to reduce their alcohol consumption. The intervention is based on cognitive-behavioral and self-control principles. We conducted secondary analysis of data from a pragmatic randomized trial with follow-up at 6 and 12 months. Participants (N = 261) were adult problem drinkers in the Dutch general population with a weekly alcohol consumption above 210 g of ethanol for men or 140 g for women, or consumption of at least 60 g (men) or 40 g (women) one or more days a week over the past 3 months. Six baseline participant characteristics were designated as putative predictors of treatment response: (1) gender, (2) education, (3) Internet use competence (sociodemographics), (4) mean weekly alcohol consumption, (5) prior professional help for alcohol problems (level of problem drinking), and (6) participants' expectancies of Web-based interventions for problem drinking. Intention-to-treat (ITT) analyses, using last-observation-carried-forward (LOCF) data, and regression imputation (RI) were performed to deal with loss to follow-up. Statistical tests for interaction terms were conducted and linear regression analysis was performed to investigate whether the participants' characteristics as measured at baseline predicted positive treatment responses at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. At 6 months, prior help for alcohol problems predicted a small, marginally significant positive treatment outcome in the RI model only (beta = .18, P = .05, R(2) = .11). At 12 months, females displayed modest predictive power in both imputation models (LOCF: beta = .22, P = .045, R(2) = .02; regression: beta = .27, P = .01, R(2) = .03). Those with higher levels of education exhibited modest predictive power in the LOCF model only (beta = .33, P = .01, R(2) = .03). Although female and more highly educated users appeared slightly more likely to derive benefit from the Drinking Less intervention, none of the baseline characteristics we studied persuasively predicted a favorable treatment outcome. The Web-based intervention therefore seems well suited for a heterogeneous group of problem drinkers and could hence be offered as a first-step treatment in a stepped-care approach directed at problem drinkers in the general population. International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 47285230; (Archived by WebCite at
    Journal of Medical Internet Research 02/2008; 10(4):e46. DOI:10.2196/jmir.1102 · 4.67 Impact Factor
Show more