Frequency and Predictors of Alcohol-Related Outcomes Following Alcohol Residential Rehabilitation Programs: A 12-Month Follow-Up Study

Elena Fiabane, Lorenza Scotti, Antonella Zambon, Giovanni Vittadini, Ines Giorgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Excessive use of alcohol has been identified as a major risk factor for diseases, injury conditions and increased mortality. The aims of this study were to estimate the frequency of success (abstinence and no alcohol related hospitalization) at 6- and 12-month follow-up after hospital discharge, and to identify the predictors of success. In 2009, a total of 1040 patients at their first admission in one of the 12 Residential Alcohol Abuse Rehabilitation Units (RAARUs) participating in the CORRAL (COordinamento of Residenzialità Riabilitative ALcologiche) project were included in the study. Several socio-demographic and clinical variables, and the number of treatments' strategies during the rehabilitation were collected. Information on alcohol abstinence and no alcohol related hospitalization was assessed through a phone interview using a health worker-administered structured questionnaire at six and 12 months after discharge. An inverse probability weighted, repeated measures Poisson regression model with robust variance was applied to estimate the association between patients' characteristics and the study's outcomes, accounting for non-responders status. The frequencies of abstinence and non-alcohol related hospitalization were 68.38% and 90.73% at six months, respectively, and 68.65% and 87.6% at 12 months, respectively. Patients that were already abstainers in the month before RAARUs' admission have an increased probability of being abstainers after discharge (relative risk: RR 1.20, 95% confidence interval: 95%CI 1.08⁻1.33) and of having an alcohol related hospitalization at 12 months. Subjects undergoing more than four treatment strategies (RR 1.19; 95% CI 1.01⁻1.40) had a higher abstinence probability and lower probability of no alcohol related hospitalizations after 12 months. Finally, patients with dual diagnosis (co-occurrence of alcohol abuse/dependence and psychiatric disorders) have a decreased probability of not being hospitalized for alcohol-related problems (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.91⁻0.99). The results of this study suggest that specific attention should be paid to the intensity of treatment, with particular regard to a multidisciplinary rehabilitation in order to respond to the complexity of alcohol dependent patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2019


  • Adult
  • Alcohol Abstinence/statistics & numerical data
  • Alcoholism/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Residential Treatment/methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders/epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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