Integrated stepped alcohol treatment for patients with HIV and liver disease: A randomized trial

E. Jennifer Edelman, Stephen A. Maisto, Nathan B. Hansen, Christopher J. Cutter, James Dziura, Yanhong Deng, Lynn E. Fiellin, Patrick G. O'Connor, Roger Bedimo, Cynthia L. Gibert, Vincent C. Marconi, David Rimland, Maria C. Rodriguez-Barradas, Michael S. Simberkoff, Janet P. Tate, Amy C. Justice, Kendall J. Bryant, David A. Fiellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: There is no known safe level of alcohol use among patients with HIV and liver disease. We examined the effectiveness of integrated stepped alcohol treatment (ISAT) on alcohol use, HIV, and liver outcomes among patients with HIV and liver disease. Methods: In this multi-site, randomized trial conducted between January 28, 2013 through July 15, 2016, we enrolled 95 patients with HIV and liver disease [defined as having active hepatitis C infection or FIB-4 score > 1.45]. ISAT (n = 49) involved: Step 1- Brief Negotiated Interview with telephone booster, Step 2- Motivational Enhancement Therapy, and Step 3- Addiction Physician Management. Treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 46) involved receipt of a health handout plus routine care. Analyses were conducted based on intention to treat. Results: Among ISAT participants, 55% advanced to Step 2, among whom 70% advanced to Step 3. Participants randomized to ISAT and TAU increased abstinence (primary outcome) over time. Abstinence rates were non-significantly higher by self-report (38% vs. 23%, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] [95% CI] = 2.6 [0.8, 9.0]) and phosphatidylethanol (43% vs. 32%, AOR [95% CI] = 1.8 [0.5, 6.3] among those randomized to ISAT vs. TAU at week 24. VACS Index scores (AMD [95% CI] = 1.1 [−3.2, 5.5]) and the proportion with an undetectable HIV viral load (AOR [95% CI] = 0.3 [0.1, 1.3]) did not differ by group at week 24 (p values >0.05). ISAT had non-significantly lower FIB-4 scores (adjusted mean difference [AMD] [95% CI] = −0.2 [−0.9, 0.5]), ALT (AMD [95% CI] = −7 [−20, 7]) and AST (AMD [95% CI] = −4 [−15, 7]) at week 24 compared to TAU. Conclusion: ISAT is feasible and potentially effective at enhancing delivery of evidence-based alcohol treatment to promote alcohol abstinence and improve liver biomarkers among patients with HIV and liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Delivery of health care, integrated
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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