Relationship of alcoholic subtypes to treatment outcome
Roberts, Samuel Joseph
MetadataShow full item record
The present study represents an extension of previous research on alcoholic personality subtypes and their response to treatment for alcoholism. Alcoholics, in the present study, were subtyped according to the presence or absence of coexisting psychiatric syndromes similar to those described in DSM III (APA, 1980). The Psychiatric Diagnostic Interview (Othmer, Penick & Powell, 1981) was used to diagnose alcoholics and three prominent subtypes were identified. These included Primary alcoholics (with no history of psychiatric syndromes), Depressed alcoholics (with a history of major depression) and Antisocial alcoholics (with a history of antisocial personality). These three subtypes were then compared on their response to treatment for alcoholism. Subjects in the present study were 84 male veterans who participated in a traditional 28 day inpatient treatment program for alcoholism. Subjects in each subtype were compared on a variety of treatment outcome measures one year following treatment including post-treatment alcohol consumption, social-occupational functioning, emotional problems and health care problems associated with drinking. Results indicate that Primary alcoholics experienced fewer emotional and health care problems following treatment than other subtypes. No differences between subtypes were found for post-treatment alcohol consumption or social-occupational functioning. The present findings suggest that alcoholics with no psychiatric history may respond more positively to treatment for alcoholism than alcoholics who exhibit significant psychopathology such as major depression or antisocial personality disorder. Results of the present study also indicate that the presence or absence of coexisting psychopathology may be an important moderator variable that may have a significant influence on response to treatment among alcoholics.