The overall aim of this treatment development study is to develop an efficacious, brief, family-involved treatment that can be used flexibly in on-goin alcohol treatment settings to advance the dissemination of evidence-based treatment. The treatment to be developed and tested in this grant, B-FIT (Brief Family- Involved Treatment), builds on the PI's earlier NIAAA-supported efficacy trials and studies of mechanisms of change in Alcohol Behavioral Couple Therapy (ABCT) and is designed as an add-on to community-based substance abuse treatment-as-usual (TAU). B-FIT uses family involvement to enhance patient treatment adherence and outcomes by improving family functioning and increasing family-provided incentives for treatment adherence and abstinence.
Study aims are carefully sequenced to develop the B-FIT approach and to judge its merits through a rigorous set of fidelity analyses, a small-scale clinical trial, and prospective tests of potential active ingrediets, mediators, and moderators of treatment response.
Specific aims are to: (1) modify ABCT to make it (a) appropriate for any concerned family member, (b) shorter, (c) focused on key mechanisms of change, (d) appropriate for use as part of an on-going alcohol treatment program, and (e) more efficacious by incorporating behavioral contracting procedures; (2) conduct a small-scale clinical trial of B-FIT; and (3) finalize materials for a larger-scale RCT. T accomplish study aims, a stage 1A successive cohort treatment development approach followed by a stage 1B small randomized clinical trial (RCT) will be completed. In the 1A stage, key interventions in B-FIT will be identified and integrated into the preliminary version of the treatment manual. Then, in the 1B stage B-FIT will be tested in an RCT to determine feasibility and preliminary efficacy. The project includes six phases: (1) focus groups with service providers, patients, and concerned family members (CFMs) of patients to obtain feedback about the B-FIT content and materials; (2) modification of the B-FIT protocol in response to the focus group feedback; (3) clinician training in the B-FIT protocol followed by pilot testing with six patients and their CFMs. Each clinician, patient and CFM will be debriefed after the treatment to assess the B-FIT intervention. (4) Further modifications to the B-FIT materials in response to feedback from the pilot study as well as a second set of focus groups used to obtain feedback on the B-FIT written materials in terms of readability, relevance, and ease of use. (5) Structured didactic and experiential training for clinicians on the B-FIT treatment. (6) A small-scale, randomized clinical trial of TAU versus B-FIT + TAU will be conducted with 60 ASAP patients and their CFMs to (a) test the feasibility of B-FIT and impact on patient treatment retention, (b) obtain effect size estimates for pre-post changes in drinking, CFM, and family functioning; (c) assess therapist fidelity; (d) measure hypothesized active ingredients in the treatment; and (e) conduct initial moderator analyses. In parallel with phases 1-5 all measures and study procedures will be finalized. Three month follow-up data will be collected as part of the clinical trial.

Public Health Relevance

Family-involved treatments for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) hold considerable promise to improve engagement and compliance with treatment and improve treatment outcomes. Currently, however, these treatments are time-intensive and difficult to learn and to integrate with on-going clinical treatment. Consistent with the general trend toward briefer treatments, we propose to develop a brief, 3-session, family-involved treatment that can be incorporated into a variety of other AUD treatment modalities. If successful, the treatment may increase the efficiency and effectiveness of AUD treatment.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Planning Grant (R34)
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Neuroscience Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Hagman, Brett Thomas
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University of New Mexico
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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McCrady, Barbara S; Wilson, Adam D; Muñoz, Rosa E et al. (2016) Alcohol-Focused Behavioral Couple Therapy. Fam Process 55:443-59
Maisto, Stephen A; Roos, Corey R; Hallgren, Kevin A et al. (2016) Do Alcohol Relapse Episodes During Treatment Predict Long-Term Outcomes? Investigating the Validity of Existing Definitions of Alcohol Use Disorder Relapse. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 40:2180-2189