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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


DIAZ-MARTINEZ, Alejandro et al. Efficacy of a therapeutic intervention program among Mexican college students diagnosed with alcohol dependence. Salud Ment [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.3, pp.185-194. ISSN 0185-3325.

In recent years, consumption of alcoholic beverages has become a common practice among young adults attending higher education institutions in Mexico. Over the past two decades, prevalence of alcohol consumption in this population has doubled. In campuses located in Mexico City, 70-90% of undergraduate students have consumed alcoholic beverages during the past year and approximately 25% have engaged in binge drinking. Past year prevalence of Alcohol Dependence (AD) has been estimated in 4.6% and 18.4%. Higher education institutions around the world have implemented programs aimed at reducing students' drinking that have included educational interventions and/or psychosocial treatments delivered individually or in group format. In this regard, the available evidence suggests that programs that have included elements of the Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) or components of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have shown the greatest efficacy in reducing drinking problems in this population. Despite this, there are no studies examining the efficacy of these interventions in Mexico's college student population. In the report presented here, we aim at examining the efficacy of Individual or Group MET and CBT in reducing drinking among undergraduate students diagnosed with AD. We hypothesized that in comparison to CBT, MET would show evidence of a greater reduction in alcohol consumption. To evaluate this hypothesis we examined the treatment effects on the number of consumed drinks, on the number of drinking days, and on the number of drinks per drinking day during the preceding 30 days. Methods We prospectively evaluated during an 8-week treatment phase and during a 12-month follow-up period, 158 undergraduate students who received a diagnosis of AD (ICD-10) at the students' Mental Health and Counseling Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City. Instruments. In order to screen and to establish the diagnosis of AD we respectively used the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) Mexican version and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). We also used The Alcohol Time line Followback (TLFB) method to retrospectively record the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. Procedures. Students seeking services at the UNAM Mental Health and Counseling Center, and who had a diagnosis of AD, were invited to participate in the study. After informed consent was obtained, they were randomly assigned to one of four manualized treatment interventions: Individual or Group MET, or Individual or Group CBT. These were delivered in eight weekly sessions lasting one hour. The alcohol TLFB was administered at the beginning and at the end of the 8-week treatment phase, and subsequently monthly for the following 12 months. Statistical analysis. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures was used to examine the treatment effect on drinking during the treatment phase and separately during the 12-month follow-up period. A one-way ANOVA was used to examine differences between treatment groups at specific assessment points. Results Demographic characteristics. In the entire sample the majority of students were men (73.2%), while the mean age was 18.8 [± 2.9] years. There were no differences between intervention groups in their demographic characteristics. Baseline characteristics of alcohol consumption. In the entire sample and separately in each of the intervention groups there was a predominant pattern of weekly heavy drinking. There were no baseline differences between treatment groups in the monthly amount or frequency of drinking, or in the number of drinks consumed during drinking days (all comparisons P>0.50). The average number of Alcohol Dependence symptoms was 6.0 [± 2.6]. There were no differences among groups in the number of these symptoms (P=0.10). Patient Retention during the Treatment Phase and the Follow-up Period. At the end of the 8-week treatment phase, 92% of the students remained in treatment. During this phase, the Individual CBT group had the greatest number of dropouts with 18% of them leaving prematurely (Pearson X2 = 15.7, df=3, P = 0.001). During the follow-up period, specifically at the 3, 6 and 12-month follow-up, the retention rates in the study were respectively 91%, 89% and 86%. There were no differences among groups in this variable at any of these follow up points. Alcohol consumption during the treatment phase. In the ANOVA for repeated measures we found that during the treatment phase there was a main effect of time over the three indicators of alcohol consumption (range of F: 7.59-11.81, df=1.142, range of P:0.001-0.007). This reflected the fact that at the end of the four interventions there was a reduction in the amount and frequency of monthly drinking and a reduction in the number of drinks during drinking days. There were no main effects of treatment (range of P:0.07- 0.56) or interactive time X treatment effects (range of P:0.55 to 0.79) on any of the drinking variables. However, at the level of a non-significant trend (F = 2.37, df=3.143, P = 0.07), there was a treatment effect reflecting that in comparison to Individual CBT, there was a trend toward a greater reduction in the frequency of monthly drinking in Group MET (one-way ANOVA: F=2.60, df=3.146, P=0.05, Tukey HSD P=0.07). Alcohol consumption during the follow-up period. In the ANOVA for repeated measures, there was a main effect of time on the amount and frequency of monthly alcohol consumption (range of F: 8.54-9.53, df=3.393, P range: 0.001-0.004), reflecting that during this period there was a reduction in these two drinking variables in the entire sample. This effect was observed mainly during the first six months of follow-up. During the following six months, there was a gradual increase in the amount and frequency of drinking (range of F for the quadratic component of Time: 5.36-10.36, df=1.131, range of P: 0.02-0.002) that approached the levels seen at the end of treatment. There were no main effects of time on the number of drinks consumed during drinking days (P=0.27). There was a treatment X time interaction (F=2.65, df=3.131, P=0.05) on monthly frequency of drinking, indicating that, in comparison to Individual CBT, there was a greater reduction in this drinking variable in Group MET. This effect was specifically observed during the first three months of follow-up (one-way ANOVA: F=3.63, df=3.142, P=0.02, Tukey HSD P=0.007). Subsequently, there were no differences among the intervention groups in this variable for the remaining nine months of follow-up. Finally, there were no main effects attributable to treatment or interactive effects of time X treatment on the number of monthly drinks (P range: 0.49 to 0.65) or on the number of drinks consumed per drinking day (P range: 0.55 to 0.79). Discussion In this sample of alcohol dependent college students, we found that at the end of the 8-week treatment phase there was a comparable reduction in the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption and in the number of drinks consumed during drinking days across the four intervention groups. However, we observed that at the level of a non significant trend (P=0.07), Group MET appeared to be more effective than Individual CBT in reducing the frequency of alcohol drinking.

Palabras llave : Brief interventions; alcohol dependence; colleges students.

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