Assessing outcomes of alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD): What should we be measuring?

Lindsay Horton, Timothy Duffy, Colin Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The recent move towards outcomes-focused assessment in health and social care has made it important to identify which outcomes are relevant to alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD). Clinical outcomes’ guidance for ARBD is currently absent from policy documentation. Thus, the aim of this review is to evaluate the current evidence base to determine recommendations for the measurement of ARBD outcomes. A total of 71 separate references were identified through a systematic online database and hand search. The screening and exclusion strategy left seven articles to be included in this review. The findings indicate that research into ARBD has focussed on a number of outcome domains, including the type of accommodation and provision of support, drinking status, employment status, the number of deaths, mental health and psychiatric symptoms, activities of daily living, social functioning and cognitive functioning. The identified outcomes suggest that practitioners should focus on a comprehensive range of clinical outcomes for ARBD service users. Nevertheless, the paucity of the existing evidence base makes it difficult to make clinical recommendations for the measurement of ARBD outcomes. Further research is necessary to shed light on long-term outcomes for people with ARBD and to increase the strength of the evidence in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-159
Number of pages9
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • alcohol
  • outcome
  • residential treatment
  • review


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