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A Randomized Clinical Trial of Alcohol Care Management

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: January 4, 2007
Last updated: April 24, 2015
Last verified: April 2015
A randomized study of Alcohol Care Management for the treatment of alcohol dependence in primary care settings.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alcohol Dependence Behavioral: Alcohol Care Management Behavioral: Usual Care Phase 4

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Primary Care Based Disease Management for Alcohol Dependence

Resource links provided by NLM:

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

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Treatment Engagement [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    This measured the percentage of subjects who attended at least 2 clinical addiction sessions in a given month. The outcome presented is the percentage during the 6th month of the trial.

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Percent Days of Heavy Alcohol Use [ Time Frame: 6 months ]
    This is a measure during the 6 month of the percentage of 30 days in which a subject had at least 1 day of heavy drinking as defined by drinking more than 4 standard drinks in a day (3 or more for women).

Enrollment: 163
Study Start Date: August 2007
Study Completion Date: July 2011
Primary Completion Date: March 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Alcohol Care Management
Care management for alcohol dependence delivered in primary care
Behavioral: Alcohol Care Management
Care management for alcohol dependence with a focus on pharmacotherapy
Active Comparator: Usual Care
Usual care included a referral to specialty addiction treatment
Behavioral: Usual Care
Usual care included a referral to a specialty addiction treatment program.

Detailed Description:

Background: Alcohol dependence is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. Despite the availability of efficacious treatments less than 20% of individuals with alcohol dependence are actively engaged in treatment. Within the VA system systematic screening was implemented to increase the identification of patients with both abuse and dependence. However, there continues to be a marked discrepancy in the care offered or accessed among those identified with alcohol dependence. Existing treatment guidelines suggest that all persons with dependence receive care in specialty addiction treatment. Data from our center indicate that among those individuals screened in primary care who have AUDIT - C scores of >7, only 30% are formally evaluated with 50% receiving only brief advice and 20% having no evidence of assessment or referral. Of those assessed and referred to specialty care only 60% attend an initial visit and only 33% meet the EPRP performance measure of 2 visits per month for 90 days. This disparity in treatment access exists even though Veterans self report a desire to cut down and readiness to change drinking behaviors. (VA ACQUIP) and a willingness to consider pharmacotherapy.

Aims: Available evidence suggests that primary care may be a key component in the identification of alcohol dependent patients, delivery of initial interventions, and to the success of addiction treatment. Indeed, the vast majority of screening and new case identification occurs within primary care. The primary aims of this proposal are to test the effectiveness of a primary care based Alcohol Care Management (ACM) program and to evaluate the barriers and facilitators to accessing and engaging individuals into treatment. The ACM program uses a Behavioral Health Specialist to deliver care focused on the use of pharmacotherapy in combination with psychosocial support (Medication Management). This model may overcome barriers to care such as frequent intensive visit schedules often required in specialty settings, stigma associated with specialty care or group therapy approaches, access to specialty care in remote areas, and the current focus on a 12 step model of treatment. Secondary aims are to establish the acceptability of primary care based treatments and defining treatment modifiers such as age, barriers, co-occurring depression, and pharmacogenetic response.


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

Inclusion Criteria:

  • be men and women = 18 years of age;
  • meet criteria for alcohol dependence;
  • drink more than an average of 2 drinks per day prior to study entry (over the last 60 days);
  • have adequate hearing to participate in assessment

Exclusion Criteria:

  • show no evidence of current abuse or dependence of illicit substances other than marijuana;
  • no current hallucinations;
  • no current symptoms of mania;
  • be relatively cognitively intact
  • not actively participate in specialized addition or behavioral health treatment within the prior 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: NCT00419315

United States, New York
Syracuse VA Medical Center, Syracuse, NY
Syracuse, New York, United States, 13210
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: NCT00419315     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: IIR 06-058
Study First Received: January 4, 2007
Results First Received: October 1, 2014
Last Updated: April 24, 2015

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
primary care

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Alcohol-Related Disorders
Substance-Related Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders
Mental Disorders
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on August 18, 2017