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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: The Returning Veteran | Table of Contents: Winter 2018 | Download this issue

New & Ongoing Studies

Improving outcomes among inpatients with alcohol use disorders


Investigator: Christine Timko, PhD; Funding period: September 2017–August 2021

VA researchers are investigating new strategies to help Veterans with alcohol use problems as they transition from the hospital to outpatient care. <em>(Photo for illustrative purposes only. ©iStock/Terry J)</em>
VA researchers are investigating new strategies to help Veterans with alcohol use problems as they transition from the hospital to outpatient care. (Photo for illustrative purposes only. ©iStock/Terry J)

VA researchers are investigating new strategies to help Veterans with alcohol use problems as they transition from the hospital to outpatient care. (Photo for illustrative purposes only. ©iStock/Terry J)

Dr. Christine Timko is a research scientist at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She will study the effectiveness of a new treatment to help Veterans with alcohol use disorders who transition from the hospital to an outpatient setting. The intervention, called Drinking Options: Motivate, Shared Decisions, Telemonitor (DO-MoST), makes use of motivational interviewing and a decision aid to help Veterans with AUDs plan their care following discharge. Researchers say they will telephone Veterans after they leave the hospital to help them stay motivated and feel supported in their efforts to reduce or stop drinking.

The research team plans to adapt a decision aid currently being used with AUD patients in the private sector for use in hospitalized Veterans with AUD who are being treated at a VA facility. They will test the use of DO-MoST at two VA hospitals, and if successful, evaluate the tool for wider use across different VA health care settings, like outpatient care for Veterans with PTSD.

In 2014, over 57,000 Veterans with a diagnosed AUD were hospitalized in a VA facility. Likely, those numbers are underreported, as researchers say Veterans with AUDs often go unidentified when they are hospitalized for medical or surgical services. Undiagnosed AUDs can be a danger to patients with complex medical conditions, as each can cause the other condition to become worse.


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