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Prognosis of older patients in mixed-age alcoholism treatment programs.

Lemke S, Moos RH. Prognosis of older patients in mixed-age alcoholism treatment programs. Journal of substance abuse treatment. 2002 Jan 1; 22(1):33-43.

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Older patients were compared with matched groups of younger and middle-aged patients in inpatient alcohol treatment programs (N = 432 in each age group). Compared with other patients, older patients had poorer physical health and lower cognitive status at treatment entry, but they were drinking less and reported fewer drinking-related problems, fewer psychological symptoms, more social support, more adaptive coping, and fewer barriers to abstinence. Older patients had positive views of the programs and, except for less family therapy and problem-focused counseling, received comparable treatment to that received by other patients. At discharge, older patients showed significant change in most areas targeted for treatment. Better initial status was the strongest predictor of better discharge functioning. Patients with higher cognitive functioning and stronger treatment motivation and those who experienced more interpersonal support and who received more specialized treatment services showed better-than-expected improvement. The age groups showed similar outcomes, prognostic factors, and response to different treatment orientations.

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