An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 1977 Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, California. This research was supported in part by NIAAA Grants AA00498 and AA02863, NIMH Grant MH16026, and by U.S. Veterans Administration Research Grant MRIS 5817–01 and was carried out while both authors were at Stanford University. We wish to acknowledge Frederic Bliss, James Kulik, Jean Otto, and Christopher Wuthmann for their help in collecting and processing the data.
Prognosis of Alcoholic Patients: Comparisons of Abstainers and Moderate Drinkers *
Article first published online: 24 JAN 2006
British Journal of Addiction to Alcohol & Other Drugs
Volume 74, Issue 2, pages 183–188, June 1979
How to Cite
Bromet, E. J. and Moos, R. (1979), Prognosis of Alcoholic Patients: Comparisons of Abstainers and Moderate Drinkers . British Journal of Addiction to Alcohol & Other Drugs, 74: 183–188. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.1979.tb02427.x
- Issue published online: 12 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 24 JAN 2006
The issue of whether alcoholics can become moderate drinkers has recently been debated on empirical and ideological grounds. The present study compared residentially treated alcoholics who subsequently abstained with those who became moderate drinkers.
Data were analysed separately for two groups of patients: 262 patients who were low in socio-economic status and related variables and who had been discharged from one of three programmes - Salvation Army, public hospital-based setting, or a half-way house that functioned as a therapeutic community; and 167 patients who were relatively high in socio-economic status and related variables and who had been treated at either an aversion conditioning programme or a milieu oriented programme. Three sets of variables were studied: socio-demographic and pre-morbid psycho-social and drinking factors; post-hospital treatment experiences; and post-hospital psycho-social and drinking factors.
Six to eight months after discharge, 22 per cent of ‘low-bottom’ alcoholics and 29 per cent of ‘high-bottom’ alcoholics were drinking moderately; 15 per cent of ‘low-bottom’ alcoholics and 46 per cent of ‘high-bottom’ alcoholics were abstinent. Few predictive or concurrent differences between abstaining and moderate drinking alcoholics were found. In light of the absence of controlled studies which incorporate biological and psycho-social data, the authors cautioned against drawing clinical and theoretical conclusions from existing research.