Identifying Multiple Mechanisms of Change in Alcoholism Treatment

In this study, Dr. Stasiewicz investigated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an empirically-supported treatment for alcohol dependence and its effects on coping skills, as well as four additional theoretically-relevant behavioral mechanisms of change specifically: increasing self-efficacy and self confidence, reducing positive outcome expectancies for alcohol use, increasing the therapeutic alliance, and reducing/regulating negative emotional states for their impact on treatment outcome. The study included 72 alcohol-dependent men and women participating in a 12-week trial of CBT for alcohol dependence. In addition, comprehensive research assessments were conducted with patients at baseline, end of treatment, and three months posttreatment. The goal of this study was to map the process of change in successful CBT by measuring the aforementioned theoretically relevant behavioral mechanisms of change on weekly occasions during treatment. Results are expected to contribute to a refinement of existing treatment procedures, a clearer picture of the processes of recovery, treatment dropout, poor response, and relapse. Dr. Stasiewicz’s co-investigator on the study is Dr. Clara M. Bradizza, RIA. Funded by a grant of $757,030 from NIAAA. This project was supported through funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), 2009-2012.