Summary: This is a unique, prospective longitudinal study of 420 women with alcohol addiction who were treated within a specialized woman only treatment program (EWA) that was started in 1981. Based on a randomised design, 100 of the eligible women were t reated at EWA, while another 100 were referred to a mixed-sex alcohol unit (?treatment as usual?), constituting the control group. All the women were assessed at baseline on multiple dimensions, including duration and severity of the alcohol problem, ment al health and personality. A short-term follow-up of the women has been carried out by use of personal interviews two years after treatment. The present study is a long-term (15-25 years) follow-up by use of the Swedish public health and social welfare re gisters. The purpose of the study is to find out whether the significantly better outcome of the EWA group compared to the control group found two years after treatment, still holds true in the long run. Thus, the mortality and morbidity rates for the EWA group will be compared to those of the control group and women of the general population. Predictors of mortality and morbidity will be investigated. The costs of health and social welfare resources for the EWA group for the total follow-up period will b e calculated and compared to the control group and women of the general population.
To the authors' knowledge, this is the first long-term follow-up of a randomised treatment study of women with alcohol addiction. A long-term follow-up of this specific sample can answer a research question of great clinical importance: Does a specialized treatment program for alcohol-addicted women work in the long run? The investigation of the cost-effectiveness of this treatment program will add important knowledge fo r the development of health care plans for alcohol-addicted women.