Five-year follow up for sobriety in a cohort of men who had attended an Alcoholics Anonymous programme in India.

BACKGROUND: There are little data from India on the long term follow up of patients with alcohol dependence who have undergone a de-addiction programme.

A cohort of patients who completed a detoxification and de-addiction programme based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model were followed up for a period of 5 years.

METHODS: A cohort design was used. A community outreach programme of a de-addiction centre was the setting for the study.

One hundred and eighty-two patients who completed a detoxification and de-addiction programme based on the Alcoholics Anonymous model were followed up. Sobriety at 5 years’ of follow up was the outcome measure.

RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-one (83%) patients were followed up at 5 years.

  • The majority (90; 59.6%) did not change their alcohol consumption and
  • a small minority (25; 16.5%) remained completely sober over the 5-year period.
  • Sobriety at 1 year was significantly associated with complete abstinence at 5 years (chi2 = 53.8; df = 1; p < 0.001).
  • More patients coming from distant places (RR 0.84; 95% CI: 0.71, 0.98; p < 0.03) and
  • those with health workers in their localities (RR 0.81; 95% CI: 0.68, 0.96; p < 0.01) were completely abstinent.

These variables were also significantly associated with sobriety even after adjusting for other confounders using logistic regression.

CONCLUSION:. The results of the 5-year outcome are modest.

More patients coming from distant places and those with health workers in their localities remained completely abstinent suggesting the possible role of the individual’s motivation and the need for continued community support in maintaining sobriety.

Research; Kuruvilla PK, Jacob KS. Five-year follow up for sobriety in a cohort of men who had attended an Alcoholics Anonymous programme in India. Natl Med J India. 2007 Sep-Oct;20(5):234-6.

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