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alcohol-dependent individuals, body-mind-spirit, craving, holistic nurse intervention, relapse prevention



  1. Ng, Siu-man PhD, RSW, RCMP
  2. Rentala, Sreevani PhD
  3. Chan, Cecilia L. W. PhD, RSW, JP
  4. Nayak, Raghavendra Bheemappa MD


Background: Alcohol dependence is associated with alcohol-related problems and persistent vulnerability to relapse. Despite newer medications, frequent relapses continue to occur. Hence, there is a need to look at holistic approaches to deal with this problem.


Objective: Evaluate the effectiveness of nurse-led body-mind-spirit (BMS)-based relapse prevention intervention on craving and quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption among alcohol-dependent individuals.


Methods: Randomized control trial was adopted, and the study was conducted at a mental health care setting in India. Sixty individuals with alcohol use disorder were randomly assigned to a BMS group (n = 30) and a treatment-as-usual (TAU) group (n = 30) between June 2017 and March 2018. Subjects of both groups were initially assessed for craving and quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption. BMS subjects received seven sessions of BMS intervention and routine treatment at de-addiction wards. The interventions comprise of body, mind, and spirit strategies that aid in handling triggers, accept responsibility for their own well-being and take charge of self health. TAU group subjects received only routine treatment. All the participants were followed up over 3 months postdischarge.


Results: Over 3 months of follow-up, BMS group subjects (vs. TAU group) reported significantly lesser quantity of alcohol consumption (F = 9.74, p < .001, [eta]2 = .144), fewer drinking days (F = 14.04, p < .001, [eta]2 = .195), lower relapse rates (14 vs. 28), and lesser craving (F = 14.01, p < .001, [eta]2 = .195). Regression analysis showed that number of previous attempts (>1) and increased baseline drinking were associated with relapse.


Conclusion: Findings provide evidence of BMS intervention in reducing craving and drinking outcomes among alcohol-dependent individuals in India.