What influences referral to 12-step mutual self-help groups by treatment professionals?

R. Wall, A. Sondhi, E. Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Twelve-step mutual self-help groups provide cost-effective support for recovery from substance misuse problems. Evidence suggests they are successful as an adjunct to formal treatment and that referral from clinicians is important in fostering engagement.
This study surveyed substance misuse treatment professionals employed within two agencies in Birmingham (UK).
A total of 92 clinicians (79.3%) eligible to participate completed a questionnaire that explored their attitudes, knowledge and referral practices with regard to 12-step groups (TSGs). Most (74%) had a positive attitude, and almost 80% referred at least some of their clients to TSGs. However, 30% had not referred any clients in the past month, and multivariate analysis showed that referral was associated with greater objective knowledge about TSGs when other factors were controlled for.
These results have implications for linking professional treatment to mutual self-help groups, and potential strategies to increase referral are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-247
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Addiction Research
Early online date20 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


  • Twelve-step groups
  • Treatment
  • Referral
  • Attitudes
  • knowledge


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