The Healthy Lifestyle Study




Professor Kirsten Kaja Roessler, Institute of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark

Description of the cohort

Alcohol use disorder is a widespread problem in Denmark and has severe impacts on health and quality of life. The clinical treatment of alcohol use disorder involves evidence-based knowledge on medical treatment, physical training, and psychological management. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of physical exercise on alcohol intake, cardio-respiratory fitness and socio-psychological outcomes. Will addition of moderate running training to treatment for alcohol dependency be more effective, than alcohol treatment alone?

200 consecutive patients entering the alcohol outpatient clinic in Odense and suffering from alcohol use disorder: abuse or dependence according to DSM-IV, are enrolled in the study if they meet the inclusion criteria.

The study is a randomized controlled trial with three arms

  1. Standard treatment alone 
  2. Standard treatment and physical exercise on an individual basis
  3. Standard treatment and physical exercise in groups

The patients will be interviewed and tested at baseline, and after 6 and 12 months.

We have a hypothesis that alcohol consumption 12 months after start of treatment will be lower in the experimental groups (2 and 3) than in the control group (1). We also expect anxiety, depression and compliance during treatment to be better in the experimental groups than in the control group.


At the 12 month follow-up interview, information regarding treatment is recorded, in addition to the evaluation instruments mentioned below. Disclosure of case notes describes number of treatment sessions, discontinuation of treatment and treatment period.  

OPEN's data manger purify data and develop electronic schmese for data entry. All data is up loaded and stored in OPEN Projects.

The Addiction Severity Index (ASI)

ASI provides a multidimensional image of the patient’s situation, within the last month before the interview, concentrated on: medicine, employment, alcohol, drug, legal status, family/social network and psychiatric health.

The time-line-follow-back method (TLFB)

TLFB is used to describe alcohol-free days, as well as number of drinks per day, 30 days before the basic and at the 6-month and the 12-month interview.

Cardiorespiratory fitness

VO2max is assessed using the Bruce treadmill test (Bruce et al., 1963) with increased speed (2.7 km/h, 5.5 km/h, 6.8 km/h) and grade (10%, 12%, 14%, 16%) every 3 minutes according to a schema. Oxygen consumption is measured directly by the breath. The test continues until exhaustion.

Screening Questionnaire of Common Mental Disorders (CMD-SQ)

CMD-SQ describes the patients level of anxiety and concern. This is assessed by the  consisting of 34 items in validated subscales (SCL-SOM, Whiteley-7, SCL-ANX-4, SCL-8, SCL-DEF-6) measuring anxiety, depression and somatisation.

Major Depression Inventory (MDI)

MDI defines depression and is a self-report inventory, widely used for measuring the severity of depression. 

Inventory of Interpersonal Problems (IIP)

IIP measures interpersonal problems the measurement allows a differentiation of interpersonal and non-interpersonal sources of distress (e.g. depressed mood, anxiety). The IIP consists of 64 items scored on eight scales (domineering, vindictive, cold, socially avoidant, non-assertive, exploitable, overly nurturant and intrusive).

Collaborating researchers and departments

  • Institute of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark
    • Department of Psychiatry, OUH Odense University Hospital / Research Unit of Psychiatry, University of Southern Denmark
      • Alcohol Treatment Center, Odense Municipal 
      • Department of Biostatistics, University of Southern Denmark

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