Length of stay, neuropsychological performance, and aftercare: Influences on alcohol-treatment outcome

R. Dale Walker, Dennis M. Donovan, Daniel R. Kivlahan, Michael R. O'Leary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Hypothesized that 245 alcohol-abusing male veterans, grouped according to levels of neuropsychological functioning, would have differential outcome following random assignment to 2- or 7-wk hospitalization in a milieu-oriented treatment program. Over the 9 mo of posthospitalization follow-up, there was significant improvement for the sample as a whole. However, outcome following 2- and 7-wk programs did not differ significantly. Neuropsychological performance was significantly but modestly related to some outcome criteria (e.g., abstinence rates and employment status), but no consistent interaction with length of stay was found. The most salient finding was the strong relationship of aftercare involvement (which was analyzed as a covariate) to most outcome criteria. Ss who attended weekly aftercare groups for 9 mo following hospitalization were 3 times more likely to remain abstinent than Ss who dropped out of aftercare (70.2 vs 23.4% abstinence, respectively). Implications for individualizing alcohol treatment and conducting future research on patient-treatment matching are discussed. (59 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-911
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • 2- vs 7-wk hospitalization &
  • aftercare, outcome criteria, alcohol abusing male veterans
  • neuropsychological functioning level &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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