Recommendation ID
For people with moderate and severe alcohol dependence who have significant comorbid problems, is an intensive residential rehabilitation programme clinically and cost effective when compared with intensive community-based care?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Why this is important:- Many people, in particular those with severe problems and complex comorbidities, do not benefit from treatment and/or lose contact with services. One common approach is to offer intensive residential rehabilitation and current policy favours this. However, the research on the effectiveness of residential rehabilitation is uncertain with a suggestion that intensive community services may be as effective. The interpretation of this research is limited by the fact that many of the more severely ill people are not entered into the clinical trials because some clinicians are unsure of the safety of the community setting. However, clinical opinion is divided on the benefits of residential rehabilitation, with some suggesting that those who benefit are a motivated and self-selected group who may do just as well with intensive community treatment, which is currently limited in availability. Given the costs associated with residential treatment and the uncertainty about outcomes, the results of this study will have important implications for the cost effectiveness and provision of alcohol services in the NHS.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Alcohol-use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking (high-risk drinking) and alcohol dependence
Date issued
February 2011

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No