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Efficacy Trial of Warrior Check-Up

This study has been completed.
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Denise Walker, University of Washington Identifier:
First received: May 14, 2010
Last updated: May 26, 2015
Last verified: May 2015
This study will develop and test a brief telephone-delivered motivational enhancement intervention for substance abusing military personnel who are not currently in treatment. The hypotheses being tested are that this intervention will prompt a willingness to participate voluntarily in a self-appraisal of substance abuse behavior and consequences, self-initiated change or enrollment in a treatment or self-help program, and cessation of abuse of alcohol or other drugs.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol Dependence
Substance Abuse
Substance Dependence
Behavioral: Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Behavioral: Education
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Motivating Treatment Seeking and Behavior Change by Untreated Military Personnel Abusing Alcohol or Drugs

Further study details as provided by University of Washington:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Form 90D [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
    Structured interview that uses a timeline follow-back procedure to elicit detailed daily information on the use of alcohol and other drugs.

  • Inventory of Drug Use Consequences [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
    A 50-item inventory of consequences related to alcohol and drug use.

  • Treatment Seeking and Preparation Behaviors Questionnaire [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
    Assesses treatment-seeking attitudes, intentions, and behaviors.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
    19-item questionnaire that assesses readiness to make changes in alcohol or drug use behaviors.

  • Drinking Norms Rating Form [ Time Frame: 3 months ]
    Participant estimates of prevalence and frequency/volume of alcohol/drug consumption by the average person and the average person in the military.

Enrollment: 242
Study Start Date: October 2010
Study Completion Date: September 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Motivational Enhancement Therapy Behavioral: Motivational Enhancement Therapy
MET, a 30-60 minute telephone session, seeks to increase motivation for change by highlighting inconsistencies between substance use behaviors and beliefs and negative consequences experienced as a result of the behaviors. The counselor will guide the participant in reviewing the Personal Feedback Report (PFR), using MI strategies to elicit the participant's reactions and foster motivation for change. The PFR will show the participant's self-reported alcohol and drug use behavior, consequences of SA, and the participant's perceived and actual descriptive norms for SA behavior. The second phase will target strengthening commitment to change. Counselors will explore with participants the pros and cons of seeking treatment. As the participant verbalizes potential benefits of learning more about treatment, the counselor will use MI skills to encourage elaboration of his/her thinking with the goal of tipping the scale toward a decision to consider taking steps toward treatment.
Active Comparator: Education Behavioral: Education
Participants will receive educational information on the health, psychological, social, and legal consequences of substance abuse. Included in the session will be: legal and behavioral definitions of SA, the social and legal consequences of SA, impact of SA on military duty, a review of the policies on substance use in the military, and treatment resources. The session will be conducted via the telephone and will last from 30-60 minutes. Counselors will present information in a didactic manner and will avoid the use of Motivational Interviewing skills (reflective listening, developing discrepancy, reinforcing participant statements regarding change).

Detailed Description:

The health and well-being of military personnel, and consequently the capacity for optimal functioning of military units, are compromised by the abuse of alcohol and/or other drugs. Rates of heavy drinking are higher among military personnel than in the general population and are even higher among recently deployed personnel.

While counseling can be effective, most substance abusers do not tend to voluntarily seek treatment. Moreover, military personnel encounter more real and perceived barriers to seeking treatment.

The substance abuse field is increasingly focusing on developing interventions for those at early stages of readiness to change, i.e., those contemplating but not yet committed to change. A brief, telephone-delivered motivational enhancement intervention (MET) called a "check-up," has shown promise in promoting self-initiated behavior change as well as voluntary treatment entry, enhanced retention, and more successful outcomes for substance abuse.

Adapting the "check-up" for application with military personnel is warranted for three key reasons: (1) it has the potential of overcoming barriers to treatment-seeking, i.e., stigma and apprehension of a negative impact on one's military career; (2) it has the potential of attracting voluntary participation; and (3) protocols for disseminating this low cost intervention for use with deployed military can readily be developed and evaluated.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. current abuse or dependence on one or more substances
  2. not currently enrolled in a counseling program focusing on substance abuse
  3. currently serving in the Army or other branch of the military.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. non-fluency in English
  2. evidence of psychosis
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01128140

United States, Washington
University of Washington Innovative Programs Research Group
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98105
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Washington
U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command
Principal Investigator: Denise D Walker, PhD University of Washington School of Social Work
  More Information

Responsible Party: Denise Walker, Research Associate Professor, University of Washington Identifier: NCT01128140     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 37278-C
Study First Received: May 14, 2010
Last Updated: May 26, 2015

Keywords provided by University of Washington:
motivational enhancement therapy

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Substance-Related Disorders
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on March 29, 2017