Objectives. Despite reports indicating gender differences in numerous variables related to the development of alcohol problems and to treatment motivation, a majority of studies on alcohol dependence are focused on men. The aim of this study was to identify factors prognostic for treatment completion by alcohol dependent men and women.
Methods. Participants in the study were alcohol dependent patients (194 men and 94 women) starting an outpatient alcohol treatment programme. The following variables were analysed as possibly related to treatment completion: experienced stress severity, coping strategies, the patient 's beliefs and expectations (self efficacy, values, dispositional optimism, perceiving alcohol dependence as a disease, life satisfaction, valuation of own health), as well as variables related to experienced emotions (emotional control over anxiety, anger, depression; state and trait anxiety). Stepwise discriminatory analysis based on the Wilks 8 minimisation was used.
Results. Nine factors prognostic for treatment completion by men and women were found. In both groups treatment completion was related to the use of two coping strategies: refraining from activity (seldom), and positive reframing (often). Moreover, it was related to low levels of both anxiety and this emotion manifesting. In the female group the role of dispositional optimism, life satisfaction and self-efficacy was confirmed, while in men - the importance of self-esteem and severity of experienced stress.
Conclusions. There are significant gender differences regarding a number of factors that predict treatment completion. Accumulation of negative prognostic factors in a patient should indicate that a thorough diagnosis and comprehensive psychological help are needed in such a case.