Patterns of transitions between relapse to and remission from heavy drinking over the first year after outpatient alcohol treatment and their relation to long-term outcomes

Stephen A. Maisto, Kevin A. Hallgren, Corey R. Roos, Julia E. Swan, Katie Witkiewitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Studying clinical course after alcohol use disorder (AUD) treatment is central to understanding longer-term recovery. This study's two main objectives were to (a) replicate a recent study that identified heterogeneity in patterns of remission from/relapse to heavy drinking during the first year after outpatient treatment in an independent data set and (b) extend these recent findings by testing associations between patterns of remission/relapse and long-term alcohol-related and functioning outcomes. METHOD: Latent profile analyses were conducted using data from Project MATCH (N = 952; M age = 38.9; 72.3% female) and COMBINE (N = 1,383; M age = 44.4; 69.1% male). Transitions between heavy and nonheavy drinking within consecutive 2-week periods over a 1-year posttreatment period were characterized for each participant. From this, latent profiles were identified based on participants' initial 2-week heavy drinking status, the number of observed transitions between 2-week periods of relapse and remission, and the average duration of observed remission/relapse episodes. RESULTS: In both MATCH and COMBINE, we identified six profiles: (a) "continuous remission," 25.3% of COMBINE sample/25.3% of MATCH sample; (b) "transition to remission," 19.6%/9.6%; (c) "few long transitions," 15.9%/33.7%; (d) "many short transitions," 13.2%/13.6%; (e) "transition to relapse," 7.2%/7.1%; and (f) "continuous relapse," 18.8%/10.5%. Profiles 1 and 2 had the best long-term outcomes, Profiles 5 and 6 had the worst, and Profiles 3 and 4 fell between these groups. CONCLUSIONS: That many individuals can remit from heavy drinking following one or more relapses to heavy drinking may be of direct interest to individuals in recovery from AUD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1132
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume88
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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