Patients who received text message intervention regarding alcohol use after liver transplantation had better treatment outcomes than those who received standard care, and they reported high satisfaction with the intervention, according to a recently published study.
“Survival rates of patients who resume excessive drinking posttransplant are significantly lower than those of abstinent patients or patients who have a minor lapse post-transplant,” Kelly S. DeMartini, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, Psychiatry, and colleagues wrote. “Abstinence duration of less than 6 months pre-transplant best predicts posttransplant alcohol outcomes. Consequently, most transplant centers require a minimum of 6 months of alcohol abstinence prior to putting candidates on the active UNOS waiting list. Exceptions to this rule can be made, however, highlighting the urgent need to develop interventions that can reduce relapse to alcohol in liver transplant candidates.”
DeMartini and colleagues designed the pilot study to compare the feasibility and efficacy of text message intervention against alcohol relapse for 8 weeks after liver transplantation. Participants included 15 liver transplantation candidates who reported more than one instance of drinking in the last year and had a diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease.