Behaviors and activities consistent with "healthy" lifestyles (i.e., leisure and recreational activities, social and family interactions, coping behaviors) have been shown to be related to prolonged substance dependence recovery. However, there has been little focus on systematically capitalizing on this association in treatment to improve relapse rates. The goal of this study was to determine if the inclusion of healthy lifestyle coaching, that is the encouragement of specific behaviors in a therapeutic setting, could impact time to relapse. Fifty-six veterans who were recently discharged from a Veterans Administration (VA) homeless Domiciliary Residential Rehabilitation and Treatment Program and were substance dependent were evaluated over a 6-month follow-up period. Using a partially randomized design, three groups were evaluated: 1) those followed by a therapist and coached to increase healthy behaviors, 2) those followed by a therapist and receiving only emotional support, and 3) those not followed by a therapist. Survival analyses and nonparametric evaluations were performed. Coached consumers had longer latency to relapse than noncoached and relapsed at a lower rate than those not followed by a therapist. Therapeutic interventions which focus on increasing healthy behaviors chosen by the consumer can be an important component of sustained recovery from substance dependence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health