Changes in profile of patients seeking alcohol treatment and treatment outcomes following policy changes

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Aim: In 2007, the legal obligation to deliver alcohol treatment to the public was transferred to the 98 municipalities of Denmark. This resulted in changes in how alcohol treatment centers in Denmark work. The aim of the present study was to describe the patient profiles and treatment outcomes in the alcohol treatment centers regarding regional variation and changes over time. Subjects and methods: This is a descriptive, register-based study of patients enrolled in alcohol treatment centers from 2006–2014 in Denmark. Only patients above the age of 15 years and with a valid postal code were included. The sample was restricted to the patients’ first contact with the alcohol treatment register (n = 44,516). Results: Patients who initiated treatment in the period 2006–2014 and were registered in the National Alcohol Treatment Register were primarily males (69–70%) with an average age between 46 and 49 years. Most had a vocational education (38–41%) on top of their primary education. The number of years with excessive alcohol use started out as being quite different in the five regions, but became more homogeneous over the study period. Treatment duration in the various regions followed a similar pattern, with all five of them having a similar treatment duration time of 160–230 days by 2014. Conclusion: We found that treatment for alcohol use disorder became more homogeneous across the regions in Denmark over time and that by 2014 it was difficult to identify any differences across the country.

TidsskriftJournal of Public Health
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)59–67
StatusUdgivet - 1. feb. 2018

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