Combining motivational interviewing with compliance enhancement therapy (MI-CET): development and preliminary evaluation of a new, manual-guided psychosocial adjunct to alcohol-dependence pharmacotherapy

Author(s): Heffner JL, Tran GQ, Johnson CS, Barrett SW, Blom TJ, et al.


Objective: Psychosocial interventions that are practical, transportable, and effective in promoting treatment adherence and efficacy are greatly needed in both research and clinical settings involving alcohol-dependence pharmacotherapy. In this article, we describe the development and preliminary evaluation of an integrative treatment blending motivational interviewing and compliance enhancement therapy (MI-CET) as a means of enhancing adherence and retention in an ongoing clinical trial.

Method: Medication adherence, session attendance, and study completion rates were examined for 121 treatment-seeking, alcohol-dependent adults participating in a randomized clinical trial of citalopram (n = 81) versus placebo (n = 40). All participants received the manual-guided MI-CET intervention as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy. Preliminary adherence and retention data for this trial were compared with data from prior studies involving treatment for alcohol dependence with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Results: High rates of medication adherence (79% of citalopram and 91% of placebo completers took > or = 80% of doses), session attendance (average of 90% for citalopram and 93% for placebo groups), and study completion (81% for citalopram and 88% for placebo groups) were obtained in the present study using MI-CET. These rates were at least comparable to or were, in some cases, 20%-30% higher than rates obtained in the comparison trials.

Conclusions: These results suggest that MI-CET is feasible as a psychosocial adjunct to alcohol-dependence pharmacotherapy. Given its strengths as a clinical and research intervention (e.g., practicality, transportability), further evaluation of its efficacy is warranted.