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An early counselling intervention program for problem drinkers contrasting group and individual delivery formats

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Title: An early counselling intervention program for problem drinkers contrasting group and individual delivery formats
Author: Adams, Douglas R.
Degree Doctor of Education - EdD
Program Counselling Psychology
Copyright Date: 1990
Subject Keywords Alcoholics -- Counseling of; Group problem solving; Problem-solving therapy
Abstract: It is hypothesized that group treatment may be more effective than an individual treatment format. The purpose of this study was to address several deficiencies of previous research in contrasting group and individual treatment delivery formats and to assess the differential effectiveness of these two formats. The treatment area chosen was that of early problem drinker treatment as it was relatively easy to control treatment content across treatment formats since detailed content manuals and theory have been well developed in this area. Subjects were selected from those respondents to a media advertisement who passed several screening criteria and were alternately assigned to a group or individual format. A lack of the requisite number of subjects required some specific design changes. Each treatment condition was given a structured eight-week treatment program of once per week meetings of seventy-five minutes each or a wait-list control condition. Statistical contrasts were then performed on the following variables: total drink units per week, maximum drink units per day, Profile of Mood States -a measure of current affective state, Weissman Social Adjustment Scale - a measure of social functioning level, and a general problem checklist. Data units were gathered pre-treatment, weekly during treatment for drink units, at post-treatment follow-up, and at six months following the end of treatment. The other data were gathered pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at the six-month follow-up. Results of the data manipulations indicated that the treatment intervention was associated with greater improvement on alcohol consumptions than a wait-list control group, but that group treatment was not associated with greater treatment gains than the individual format on any measures. These results are given to be tentative given several major limitations of this study which are discussed. The research was found to be relevant in the area of treatment planning, and is interpreted as providing a more theoretically meaningful contrast of the two formats than previously achieved due to greater experimental control of possibly confounding variables. A useful initial test was performed of a treatment program developed for this study which shows promise for helping problem drinkers. It is also suggested that this research provides some important conclusions for the contrast of group and individual formats in psychological interventions generally. Future directions are suggested.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/31113
Series/Report no. UBC Retrospective Theses Digitization Project [http://www.library.ubc.ca/archives/retro_theses/]
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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