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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 32  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-82

Feasibility of mobile telephonic follow-up among patients with alcohol dependence syndrome

Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Susmita Chandramouleeswaran
Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.275345

Background. Losses to follow-up impact the collection of outcomes among patients with alcohol dependence syndrome (ADS). We aimed to study the feasibility and acceptability of using telephonic contact as a means of following up new patients with ADS. The outcomes assessed were complete abstinence at the end of 6 months and associated factors. Methods. We followed up a cohort of 54 new patients diagnosed with ADS after 6 months, in the psychiatry department of a tertiary care hospital in India. We also assessed sociodemographic, alcohol-related, medical and treatmentrelated details of the patients; and scores on the Short Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire, Rotter's scale for the locus of control, and the Clinical Institute of Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol scale-revised. The primary outcome was complete abstinence at the end of 6 months. The data at follow-up were collected through a combination of in-person and telephonic interviews with the patients and caregivers and supplemented with chart reviews. Results. Follow-up at 6 months could be carried out for 51 of 54 patients enrolled (94.4%; 32 through direct, and 19 through telephonic interviews). The proportion of patients who achieved and maintained complete abstinence during this period was 27.5%. The factors found to be associated with abstinence were regularity of follow-up, adherence to medicines and having had the habit of drinking alcohol with friends, as opposed to solitary drinking. Conclusion. Using mobile telephonic technology, we were able to obtain an excellent follow-up and improve the collection of outcomes by 35.2% at the end of a 6-month period among new patients with ADS. This potentially effective tool is widely available and cost-effective, and could have a role in improving outcomes among patients with ADS.

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