Predictors of relapse after discontinuation of long-term benzodiazepine use by minimal intervention: A 2-year follow-up study

Richard C. Oude Voshaar, Wim Gorgels, Audrey Mol, Anton van Balkom, Marinus Breteler, Eloy van de Lisdonk, Jan Mulder, Frans Zitman

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Long-term results of minimal intervention strategies to cut down benzodiazepine use are not available. Objective. To evaluate the relapse rate over a two-year period and to search for predictors of relapse among patients who quit benzodiazepine use after receiving a discontinuation letter. Methods. Baseline assessment and prospective monitoring of the medical records of 109 patients who quit long-term benzodiazepine use after a minimal intervention strategy in general practice. Results. After 819 ± 100 days of follow-up, 53 (49%) patients had remained completely abstinent. Two independent predictors of relapse were identified by Cox regression analysis: use of more than 10 mg diazepam equivalent (RR = 2.4 [1.2 - 4.7]) and poor general health perception (RR = 0.98 [0.97 - 0.99]). Conclusion. Short-term success rates after a minimal intervention were maintained well during long-term follow-up. High-dose users have the highest risk of relapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-372
Number of pages3
JournalFamily Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003


  • Benzodiazepines
  • Follow-up
  • General practice
  • Minimal intervention

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