An exploratory qualitative study seeking participant views evaluating group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy preparation for alcohol detoxification

Anna Croxford, Caitlin Notley, Vivienne Maskrey, Richard Holland, Christos Kouimtsidis

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: There is a strong consensus that detoxification from alcohol should be planned. Six sessions of Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as structured preparation for detoxification for alcohol dependence have been developed and evaluated. To our knowledge this is the only structured preparation intervention reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to provide a client centered evaluation of this intervention to build upon initial quantitative evidence.

Methods: Eleven telephone and two face to face qualitative interviews were conducted in four community alcohol teams in South England. Detailed inductive coding, and coding around CBT concepts, of all transcripts was undertaken. Participants were purposively sampled after completion of the six week group intervention.

Results: Key benefits of group attendance from the participant perspective included not feeling “alone”, being supported by, and supporting peers. Participants demonstrated self-efficacy and coping strategies for reducing drinking and managing high-risk situations. Some reported pre-group anxiety, or difficult group experiences due to disruptive clients.

Conclusions: Although the study has limitations, the intervention appears to be well accepted, and appears to prepare participants for detoxification. These exploratory findings suggest that both generic groups as well as theory specific factors are important. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the intervention need to be further assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number1
Early online date3 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • alcohol
  • detoxification
  • psychological
  • qualitative
  • treatment

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