Objective: To assess the outcome of treatment, a cross section of women from seven inpatient centres treating alcoholics were interviewed twice: as they entered treatment (n=114) and one year later (n=74) when they returned to the community.
Method: The patients were interviewed as they began treatment and 65% were traced for interviews one year later. Measures of self esteem, emotional health and drinking patterns are presented over time.
Results: Approximately one half of the women were abstinent when interviewed again and improved emotional health was related to abstinence. Of those who continued to drink many reduced their intake. A logistic regression analysis was applied to the data to explain the results. Among the major findings was the ability of therapists to predict subsequent drinking with a high degree of accuracy.
Conclusions: All of the services have abstinence as their goal. This could be challenged since at follow up only half of the women are abstinent. Controlled drinking may well be a valid objective if abstinence fails or could well be a valid objective for some patients.