Elderly alcoholics compared to middle-aged alcoholics in outpatient treatment - 6-month follow-up

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Purpose: This study examined 6-month drinking outcomes of elderly patients compared with middle-aged patients in a clinical sample after initiation of outpatient treatment for alcoholism. Materials and methods: In a clinical prospective cohort study, 1398 consecutive patients from a municipality outpatient alcohol clinic were included. A total of 208 elderly patients aged from 60 to 82 years and 1190 middle-aged patients from 40 to 59 years participated in the study. The following psychosocial treatment interventions were offered: cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy and supportive consultations. Using an ‘intention-to-treat’ method, primary outcomes included drinking outcomes (self-reported abstinence rates, drinking 3 drinks or less per day, and change in Addiction Severity Index [ASI] composite scores) during the 30 days prior to 6-month follow-up; secondary outcome was compliance to the recommended treatment. Results: Compared to middle-aged, among elderly patients a higher proportion were females (33.5% vs. 42.8%) and had a lower family/social ASI-composite score (0.17 vs. 0.12) at baseline. Higher alcohol and family/social ASI-composite scores were inversely correlated with abstinence. Elderly patients had a higher chance for abstinence compared to middle-aged patients (Odds ratio 95% [confidence interval]) 1.40 (1.03–1.92). The proportion of elderly patients that drank 3 or less drinks per day was 17.8%, compared to 10.8% among middle-aged (p <.01). Finally, elderly patients obtained a higher compliance, which was similarly associated with abstinence (OR =2.46 (1.95–3.11)). Discussion and conclusions: Elderly patients, who receive psychosocial outpatient treatment for alcoholism, have better 6-month outcomes within a range of drinking outcome measures compared to middle-aged patients.

TidsskriftNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Udgave nummer7
Sider (fra-til)506-511
StatusUdgivet - 23. okt. 2018

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