Alcohol treatment research assessment exposure: A critical review of the literature

Patrick R. Clifford, Christine M. Davis
2012 Psychology of Addictive Behaviors  
Alcohol treatment researchers have speculated about the benefits of research participation (e.g., research follow-up interviews functioning as aftercare) for more than four decades (Gallen, 1974) . Alternatively, research participation can decrease study design sensitivity and hamper the interpretability of research findings. To the extent that the typical alcohol treatment trial is characterized by frequent and comprehensive data collection, accounting for potential research assessment related
more » ... effects is essential for proper interpretation of study findings. Given this background, the purpose of this article is to review the alcohol treatment research literature on assessment exposure resulting in subject reactivity. In addition, interventions that use data collection activities to inform clinical practice are receiving increased attention and such interventions share common characteristics with research assessment related clinical improvements. Therefore, a second purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast these two influences of behavior change. Study findings indicate that during-and post-treatment data collection activities (i.e., both research and clinical data) positively influence clinical outcomes, although there appears to be important differences regarding the mechanisms by which these two data collection activities exert their influence. Understanding of mechanisms of behavior change, effect boundaries, and the conditions under which clinical improvement is most likely to occur is only at a rudimentary level.
doi:10.1037/a0029747 pmid:22905899 pmcid:PMC3529752 fatcat:xxzepvoshvaufaoqzl44z73eee