Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling & Human Services



Committee Director

Nina Brown

Committee Member

Corrin Richels

Committee Member

Woody Schwitzer


Group therapy is commonly used in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD). Many studies exist related to the efficacy of group interventions for veterans with SUDs. A meta-analysis and systematic review of the literature addressing the use of group therapy, specifically psychoeducational groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) groups and support groups, in the treatment of SUDs with veterans was conducted. The following questions guided the research: What are viable treatment outcomes for psychoeducational, CBT, and support groups of veterans with SUDs? and What are the measures that capture outcomes related to psychoeducational, CBT, and support groups of veterans with SUDs? The systematic review revealed three themes addressing 1) group types utilized, 2) level of exposure to groups, and 3) types of substances being addressed. The meta-analysis indicated that CBT groups produced the greatest increase in percentage of days abstinent (PDA) and Twelve Step Facilitation (TSF) groups produced the greatest relief from family and social problems. These analyses extend our understanding of the effectiveness of CBT and TSF in treating SUDs in veterans as stand-alone treatment possibilities or as an integral part of an integrated treatment program.


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