Effectiveness Bank Alcohol Treatment Matrix cell A2: The ‘Common Factors’ at the Heart of Treatment

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Drug and Alcohol Findings
Publication Date


The first cell in row two of the Alcohol Treatment Matrix initiates our investigation of treatment as opposed to brief interventions, discussing seminal and key research relevant across different treatment modalities. It focuses on the ‘common factors’ often sidelined as components of the placebo effect, but which are actually active ingredients at least as important as the particular therapy. Starts with a “frankly inspiring series of studies from the 1950s”, highlights the multi-million dollar US Project MATCH trial, and develops evidence-informed understanding of four core issues:

- What is treatment’s primary role?

- Is that role different for different people?

- What are these ‘common factors’?

- Does long-term care/aftercare make a difference?

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One of 25 cells in the Alcohol Treatment Matrix mapping seminal and key research and guidance on alcohol brief interventions and treatment.

“Fantastic resource – our student nurses have been very impressed, notably with [the] drug and alcohol matrices.”

Pete Duffield, RAID nurse, Heartlands and Solihull Hospital, West Midlands, England


Sent by Drug and Alcohol Findings to alert you to site updates and recent UK-relevant evaluations and reviews of drug/alcohol interventions. Matrix funded by Alcohol Change UK Findings is also supported by the Society for the Study of Addiction and advised by the National Addiction Centre.