Alcohol treatment: Measurement of effectiveness by global outcome
Traditional methods of data analysis in alcohol studies focus only on alcohol consumption as dependent variables rather than considering a global, person-in-environment perspective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate treatment outcome in a clinical trial using dimensions of life functioning in addition to quantity-frequency measures of alcohol use. Subjects were male veterans suffering from high levels of anxiety in addition to alcohol dependence who were randomly assigned to treatment with a placebo or buspirone. Results show that global measures did not reveal differences from standard treatment outcome measures in this study. All of those subjects were drinking heavily, and most of those drinking moderately, were experiencing life problems. However, studies with other designs and with larger sample sizes are needed.