Andersen, K., Behrendt, S., Bilberg, R., Bogenschutz, M.P., Bühringer, G., Ekstrom, E.C., Mejldal, A., Petersen, A. H., Nielsen, A.S.

Evaluation of adding the community reinforcement approach to motivational enhancement therapy for adults aged 60 years and older with DSM-5 alcohol use disorder: a randomized controlled trial


Addiction, 115(1), 69-81. doi: 10.1111/add.14795


To examine whether adding the Community Reinforcement Approach for Seniors (CRA-S) to Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) increases the probability of treatment success in people aged ? 60 years with alcohol use disorder (AUD).


A single blind multi-centre multi-national randomized (1 : 1) controlled trial.


Out-patient settings (municipal alcohol treatment clinics in Denmark, specialized addiction care facilities in Germany and a primary care clinic in the United States).


Between January 2014 and May 2016, 693 patients aged 60+ years and fulfilling DSM-5 criteria for AUD participated in comparing MET (n = 351) and MET + CRA-S (n = 342).


MET (comparator) included four manualized sessions aimed at increasing motivation to change and establishing a change plan. CRA-S (intervention) consisted of up to eight further optional, manualized sessions aimed at helping patients to implement their change plan. CRA-S included a specially designed module on coping with age and age-related problems.


The primary outcome was either total alcohol abstinence or an expected blood alcohol concentration of ? 0.05% during the 30 days preceding the 26 weeks follow-up (defined as success) or blood alcohol concentration of > 0.05% during the follow-up period (defined as failure). This was assessed by self-report using the Form 90 instrument. The main analysis involved complete cases.


The follow-up rate at 26 weeks was 76.2% (76.9% in the MET group and 76.0% in the MET + CRA-S group). The success rate in the MET group was 48.9% [95% confidence interval (CI) = 42.9-54.9%] versus 52.3% (95% CI = 46.2-58.3%) in the MET + CRA-S group. The odds of success in the two conditions did not differ (odds ratio = 1.22. 95% CI = 0.86-1.75, P = 0.26, Bayes factor = 0.10). Sensitivity analyses involving alternative approaches to missing values did not change the results.


In older adults with an alcohol use disorder diagnosis, adding the 'community reinforcement approach for seniors' intervention to brief out-patient motivational enhancement therapy treatment did not improve drinking outcome.


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