A randomized clinical trial of a therapeutic workplace for chronically unemployed, homeless, alcohol-dependent adults

Mikhail N. Koffarnus, Conrad J. Wong, Karly Diemer, Mick Needham, Jacqueline Hampton, Michael Fingerhood, Dace S. Svikis, George E. Bigelow, Kenneth Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims: To assess the efficacy of the Therapeutic Workplace, a substance abuse intervention that promotes abstinence while simultaneously addressing the issues of poverty and lack of job skills, in promoting abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics. Methods: Participants (n = 124) were randomly assigned to conditions either requiring abstinence from alcohol to engage in paid job skills training (Contingent Paid Training group), offering paid job skills training with no abstinence contingencies (Paid Training group) or offering unpaid job skill training with no abstinence contingencies (Unpaid Training group). Results: Participants in the Contingent Paid Training group had significantly fewer positive (blood alcohol level ≥ 0.004 g/dl) breath samples than the Paid Training group in both randomly scheduled breath samples collected in the community and breath samples collected during monthly assessments. The breath sample results from the Unpaid Training group were similar in absolute terms to the Contingent Paid Training group, which may have been influenced by a lower breath sample collection rate in this group and fewer reported drinks per day consumed at intake. Conclusion: Overall, the results support the utility of the Therapeutic Workplace intervention to promote abstinence from alcohol among homeless alcoholics, and support paid training as a way of increasing engagement in training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberagr057
Pages (from-to)561-569
Number of pages9
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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