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Telephone Disease Management At-Risk Drinking (TDM II)

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: July 20, 2005
Last updated: April 6, 2015
Last verified: June 2014

The aim of this study is to test for improvements in treatment outcomes for primary care patients with at-risk drinking when cared for using telephone disease management (TDM) compared to those treated with usual care. Based on our pilot data, TDM for at-risk drinking may be a viable method for reducing alcohol consumption in this population.

Hypotheses: The hypotheses for this research plan are: 1. A significantly greater proportion of patients assigned to TDM will obtain improvement in drinking outcomes compared to usual care. 2. TDM will lead to greater access to behavioral health care and higher intensity of treatment relative to usual care. This effect will be moderated by logistics such as transportation problems, physical functioning, and employment status. 3. More patients assigned to TDM will receive guideline adherent care.

Condition Intervention
Alcohol Abuse
Behavioral: Telephone disease management
Behavioral: Usual Care

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Telephone Disease Management At-Risk Drinking (TDM 11)

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Reduced Alcohol Use [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    Alcohol use as measured by the number of drinking days. Lower is better. There are no upper limits. The lower limit is 0.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Reduced Problems Related to Alcohol [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    The Short Inventory of Problmes was used to measure the number of alcohol related problems encountered in the prior 3 months. The scale has a minimum of 0 with lower as better. The max score is 15 with each problem rated as present or absent.

Enrollment: 146
Study Start Date: January 2004
Study Completion Date: February 2009
Primary Completion Date: August 2008 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Telephone Disease Management
Telephone based disease management or counseling used to promote a reducution in alcohol misuse
Behavioral: Telephone disease management
Telephone based care management
Placebo Comparator: Usual Care
Usual Care
Behavioral: Usual Care
Usual care

Detailed Description:

We propose to randomize 200 patients with at-risk drinking from four primary care clinics at the PVAMC and three Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs). Patients will be identified for participation by 1. referrals from primary care clinicians based on existing screening and clinical exams or 2. from the screening of a random subset of patients with an appointment in the primary care clinic. A baseline assessment will establish eligibility for participation in the study. The baseline assessment will also allow identification of those patients who screen positive but do not have a definable behavioral health problem and those with severe symptoms who may need more intensive help than provided by the study.

Consenting eligible patients will be randomly assigned to TDM or the lower intensity intervention of usual care. For those patients assigned to usual care, the physician will administer further evaluations and treatment as he/she sees fit. For those assigned to TDM, the primary care provider remains the agent of treatment, but a Behavioral Health Specialist (BHS) is made available to: maintain regularly scheduled telephone contact, develop a treatment plan, monitor treatment effectiveness, assess and encourage treatment adherence, and offer support and education. The role of the health specialist is defined by a treatment manual that adheres to the recommendations of VA practice guidelines. TDM is based on a chronic care model of treatment and includes a minimum of three BAI sessions. The health specialist will communicate assessment information with the PCP in order to coordinate treatment decisions.

The principal outcomes of the study relate to reduction in alcohol use within recommended guidelines as well as access and utilization of behavioral health services over the course of 12 months. Results favoring TDM may provide a low-cost, highly efficient mechanism for integrating behavioral health with primary care for these patients. This project thus meets several of the priority areas for HSR&D funding including improving access to care, the implementation of practice guidelines, use of telemedicine, and patient-centered care.


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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • be 18 years of age and over, male or female.
  • meet criteria for at-risk drinking as defined by drinking more than 21 standard drinks per week (14 for women or those over age 65).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • show an absence of any of the following:

    1. active suicidal ideation,
    2. regular current use of illicit substances other than alcohol
    3. diagnosis of current alcohol dependence
    4. current hallucinations and delusions
    5. current symptoms of PTSD
    6. a history of mania or hypomania.
  • have adequate hearing to participate in telephone assessments and access to a telephone. Subjects will also show an absence of other barriers to verbal communication (e.g., aphasia) and will be cognitively intact (Brief Orientation Memory and Concentration task greater than 15 for those over age 54).
  • not actively participating in specialized addiction treatment within the prior 3-months.
  • not currently enrolled in another clinical trial
  • not expected to move from the VISN 4 area within 12 months
  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: NCT00123409

United States, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: David W. Oslin, MD Philadelphia VA Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA
  More Information

Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00123409     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IIR 02-108
Study First Received: July 20, 2005
Results First Received: September 26, 2014
Last Updated: April 6, 2015

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
Primary Care
Quality of Life

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders processed this record on March 28, 2017