Treatment effectiveness research projects

Treatment effectiveness research projects

1. Dialectical behavior therapy for substance abusing patients with a borderline personality disorder
Goal of the study:
Patients with an addiction problem and a psychiatric disorder are often referred to one service after the next. Some studies show that Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) may be an effective treatment for this patient group. The aim of the present study is to assess the effects of DBT for patients with alcohol and/or drug abuse and a Borderline Personality Disorder (DSM-IV).

Research questions:
Does the application of the DBT treatment with this population of patients lead to: Reduction of self-destructive behavior (i.e., the number of suicide attempts, self-mutilation, para-suicidal acts)? Does behavior that can be seen as interfering with the patient’s quality-of-life decline (i.e., alcohol and/or drug abuse; unstable relationships; housing facilities; unemployment, etc.)? Does the DBT treatment reduce the total number of days of inpatient treatment and crisis admissions?

Results:
The initial results show DBT treatment to effectively reduce impulsiveness, drop-out, and para-suicidal behavior. The effects are also significant when compared to a patient group that received Treatment As Usual (TAU). Further statistical analyses are currently being carried out.

References:
Not available as yet.

2. Early intervention for problem drinking with general hospital outpatients
Goal of the study:
This study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of early intervention for problem drinking with general hospital outpatients. The question is whether protocols for early identification, motivation, and intervention in a general hospital can reduce both the request for treatment for alcohol problems and the request for medical treatment. At the same time the physical, psychological, and social functioning of the patient should improve.

Research questions:
How effective is the Dutch Motivational Drinkers Check-Up (DVA) for reducing alcohol consumption and medical consumption and improving physical, psychological, and social functioning among general hospital outpatients? The DVA (Doorlichting, Voorlichting Alcoholgebruik) is an instrument used by psychologists to assess the need for early intervention for alcohol problems and the level of treatment motivation. What is the effect of lifestyle interventions by a physician to reduce the consumption of alcohol and the request for medical services. What is the physical, psychological, and social improvement of patients? The lifestyle intervention instrument, which is still in construction, involves motivational behavioral instruction by a physician and follow-up contact with a nurse.

Results:
Not available as yet.

References:
Not available as yet.

3. Evaluation of the Early Intervention Approach of the Dutch probation office
Goal of the study:
In the Netherlands, a new approach to the treatment of arrested addicts is being introduced. Within a period of 21 days after arrest, the addicted person is visited by a probation officer and presented a number of treatment options. The aim of the study is to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of this new approach.

Research questions:
The first research question is: Does the approach work? How many arrested addicts are actually reached? The measures used to examine the feasibility of the approach are: Comparison of the number of addicts arrested by the police in a year, the number of arrested addicts visited by a probation officer, the number of visited addicts receiving a treatment offer, and the number of such addicts accepting a treatment offer.
The second research question is: What are the effects of the Early Help Intervention Approach (Vroeghulp Interventie Aanpak, VIA) when used with those arrested addicts who actually enter treatment? The measures used to assess the effectiveness of this approach are degree of addiction, criminality, health improvement, and social integration.

Results:
Results: Not available as yet.

References:
Not available as yet.

4. Minimal Intervention and Campral® (acamprosate): A Double Option
Goal of the study:
The efficacy of Campral® has been demonstrated in many studies; similarly the positive effects of minimal intervention and cognitive therapy have also been demonstrated. The goal of the present study is to compare three treatment conditions in an open label, randomized, multicenter study.

Research questions:
What are the effects of Campral® plus minimal intervention. The question is, to which extend contribute brief interventions to maintain abstinent while the patients are already under treatment with medication. What is the effect of Campral® alone for the maintenance of abstinence among weaned alcoholic patients? Just how feasible is the implementation of protocolized minimal and brief interventions in outpatient treatment settings with the prescription of Campral® as an integrated part of the treatment? A final question is which patient characteristics appear to predict the efficacy of Campral® either with or without particular combinations and levels of supplemental psychosocial intervention?

Results:
Of 241 patients (Intent-To-Treat group), 114 (47.3%) remained in treatment for the full 28 weeks; 169 of the ITT patients were seen at follow-up (70.1%). None of the statistical analyses revealed significant differences between treatment groups for any of the drinking outcomes both at the end of the 28 weeks of treatment or at six month follow-up. There were also no statistically significant differences in medication compliance, dropout rates, or psychological distress.

References:
Not available as yet.