Background: Older adults who drink problematically are the largest group of substance users among those 55 and older. This group often chooses moderation as a goal instead of abstinence, and motivation and self-efficacy are found to have less of an impact on drinking compared to younger adults. No study has examined age effects (specifically 55 and older vs. younger counterparts) on motivational interviewing (MI) compared to brief advice with a sample that includes individuals over 65. Objective: To explore the moderating impact of age on heavy drinkers’ (aged M=50.7 years SD=11.6, range 23-73) response to MI. Methods: Data were from a randomized controlled trial testing stepped care brief interventions for alcohol use disorder. Participants were: 97 aged 22 - 54 years and 66 aged 55-73 years. For this study, generalized estimating equations were used to test drinks per drinking day (DDD) 4 weeks after 2 sessions of MI were implemented compared to brief advice alone. Results: There was no main effect of continuous age on DDD; however, individuals 55 and older demonstrated significantly lower DDD at week 8 than their younger counterparts (on average .20 of standard drink, B=-.17, SE=.07, p
Kuerbis, A., Shao, S., Vadhan, N., & Morgenstern, J. (2020, March). Preliminary efficacy of motivational interviewing on problem drinkers 55 and older compared to younger counterparts. Poster presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Psychopathological Association, New York, NY.