Project MATCH

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Matching Alcoholism Treatments to Client Heterogeneity

A Multisite Clinical Trial of Alcohol Treatment

No single treatment approach is effective for all persons with alcohol problems. A more promising strategy involves assigning patients to alternative treatments based on specific needs and characteristics of patients. Project MATCH was a multisite clinical trial designed to test a series of a prior hypotheses on how patient-treatment interactions relate to outcome. Two independent but parallel matching studies were conducted, one with clients recruited from outpatient settings, the other with patients receiving aftercare treatment following inpatient care. Patients were randomly assigned to Twelve-Step Facilitation, Cognitive-Behavioral Coping Skills, or Motivational Enhancement Therapy. Subjects were followed at three-month intervals for one-year following completion of the 12-week treatment period and were evaluated for changes in drinking patterns, functional status/quality of life, and treatment services utilization. Interaction effects with selected patient characteristics were studied. Project MATCH was designed to provide a rigorous test of the utility of patient-treatment matching in general and has important implications for clinical practice (Project MATCH Research Group, 1993, p. 1130).

Project MATCH Research Group. (1993). Project MATCH: Rationale and methods for a multisite clinical trial matching patients to alcoholism treatment. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 17, 1130-1145.