Patients' perspective| Volume 13, ISSUE 2, P159-164, March 1996

Alcoholic patients' decisions about halfway houses What they say, what they do

  • Edward H. Fischer
    Requests for reprints should be addressed to Edward H. Fischer, Department of Clinical Research, Institute of Living, Hartford, CT 06106, USA.
    Department of Clinical Research, Institute of Living, Hartford, CT 06106, USA
    Search for articles by this author
      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.


      Because of the important role of halfway houses in the recovery of many alcoholic patients, patients' attitudes toward accepting placement in a halfway house were studied in a state hospital's alcohol rehabilitation program. Verbal intentions to accept or not to accept placement were measured at the beginning and again toward the end of the program sequence. Both assessments showed a strong correlation with the patients' actual behaviors. The relationships between intentions and ultimate choices were moderated both by the amount of time between observations and, independently of the passage of time, by the subjects' experience with or knowledge about halfway houses. Changes over the course of the program were mostly positive (favorable toward going and actually doing so). These shifts mainly involved the people who had been initially undecided about placement in a halfway house. Amount of time spent in the rehabilitation program was unrelated to patients' initial intentions toward going and had little bearing on their final decisions.



        • Condelli W.S.
        • Hubbard R.L.
        Relationship between time spent in treatment and client outcomes from therapeutic communities.
        Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 1994; 11: 25-33
        • Emrick C.D.
        • Hansen J.
        Assertions regarding effectiveness of treatment for alcoholism: Fact or Fantasy?.
        American Psychologist. 1983; 38: 1078-1088
        • Fazio R.H.
        • Zanna M.P.
        Direct experience and attitude-behavior consistency.
        in: Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Vol. 14. Academic Press, New York1981: 161-202
        • Fischer E.H.
        • Epstein R.
        Outcome for alcohol rehabilitation patients at halfway houses.
        Connecticut Valley Hospital, Middletown, CT 064571984 (Unpublished manuscript)
        • Fischer E.H.
        • Neely W.
        • Miller C.A.
        Who is helped by a state hospital's alcohol rehabilitation program?.
        in: Paper presented at the meetings of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles1981
        • Holder H.
        • Longabaugh R.
        • Miller W.R.
        • Rubonis A.V.
        The cost effectiveness of treatment for alcoholism: A first approximation.
        Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 1991; 52: 517-540
        • Hitchcock H.C.
        • Stainback R.D.
        • Roque G.M.
        Effects of halfway house placement on retention of patients in substance abuse aftercare.
        American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 1995; 21: 379-390
        • McGuire W.J.
        Attitudes and attitude change.
        in: Handbook of Social Psychology. Vol. II. Random House, New York1985: 233-346
        • Moos R.H.
        • Moos B.S.
        Stay in residential facilities and mental health care as predictors of readmission for patients with substance abuse disorders.
        Psychiatric Services. 1995; 46: 66-72
        • Moos R.H.
        • Pettit B.
        • Gruber V.A.
        Characteristics and outcomes of three models of community residential care for substance abuse patients.
        Journal of Substance Abuse. 1995; 7: 99-116
        • Moos R.H.
        • Pettit B.
        • Gruber V.
        Longer episodes of community residential care reduce substance abuse patient's readmission rates.
        Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 1995; 56: 433-443
        • Voegtlin W.L.
        • Lemere F.L.
        The treatment of alcohol addiction: A review of the literature.
        Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 1942; 2: 717-803
        • Wicker A.W.
        Attitudes versus actions: The relationship of verbal and overt behavioral responses to attitude objects.
        Journal of Social Issues. 1969; 25: 41-78