Alcoholism pp 329-356 | Cite as

Family-Involved Alcoholism Treatment An Update

  • Timothy J. O’Farrell
  • William Fals-Stewart
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 15)


We reviewed 36 randomized studies of family-involved treatment and comparison conditions. A meta-analysis showed a medium effect size favoring family-involved treatments, over individual treatment or wait-list, for outcomes of alcohol use, treatment entry/attendance, and family adjustment. Studies of family-involved treatment when the alcoholic is unwilling to seek help show: (1) Al-Anon facilitation and referral help family members cope better; (2) the popular Johnson intervention apparently does not effectively promote treatment entry; and (3) Community Reinforcement and Family Training promotes treatment entry and should be disseminated if replicated. Studies of family-involved treatment to aid recovery when the alcoholic has sought help show: (1) evidence supporting behavioral couples therapy (BCT) has grown considerably; (2) the disulfiram contract procedure should be disseminated as part of a BCT treatment package; and (3) studies of family systems and of family disease approaches are beginning to ap pear in the literature. Future studies need to include more women and minority patients and focus on children.


Alcoholic Patient Marital Adjustment Communication Skill Training Treatment Entry Alcoholism Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy J. O’Farrell
    • 1
  • William Fals-Stewart
    • 2
  1. 1.Harvard Families and Addiction Program, Harvard Medical School Department of PsychiatryVeterans Affairs Medical CenterBrockton
  2. 2.Research Institute on AddictionsUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffalo

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