Research Reports - Who responds better? Factors influencing a positive response to brief alcohol interventions for individuals with traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2012 Sep;27(5):342-8

Ponsford J, Tweedly L, Lee N, Taffe J

OBJECTIVE: : To investigate variables associated with the frequency and quantity
of alcohol consumption following a brief alcohol intervention in individuals with
traumatic brain injury.
PARTICIPANTS: : Initial sample of 60 participants with traumatic brain injury
(mean age = 35 years) with preinjury history of alcohol use; of whom, 50 were
evaluated at follow-up.
RESEARCH DESIGN: : Randomized controlled trial, stratified for gender, which used
a random-effects regression model to examine the association of predictor
variables with the frequency and quantity of alcohol use 6 months following a
brief alcohol intervention.
MAIN MEASURES: : Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; Time Line Follow
Back; California Verbal Learning Test-II; Modified Six Elements Test; Readiness
to Change Questionnaire; and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
INTERVENTIONS: : Participants received one of the following treatments: informal
discussion; discussion plus information; and brief motivational interview plus
RESULTS: : While both intervention groups showed less drinking, the intervention
group membership effect was not significant. Being in the action stage of
readiness to change was associated with lower drinking frequency and quantity.
Higher education and higher levels of depression were associated with increased
drinking. Memory and executive function, and heavy preinjury alcohol use, were
not significant predictors.
CONCLUSIONS: : These findings support a focus on readiness to change behavior and
treatment of depression in addressing alcohol use issues following traumatic
brain injury. Treatment efficacy studies in larger samples are needed.

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