BFIT: A Research Study for Veterans

Researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina are partnering with veterans who drink frequently to evaluate how a family-focused therapy program can help. Join our compensated study today!

Fast Facts

veterans who drink frequently

participate with an adult family member/friend/partner

Compensation Provided

Conducted remotely nationwide

Study Background

Can Brief Family Involved Treatment help veterans reduce their alcohol use?

Existing research strongly supports family involvement in treatment for alcohol use. However, this can be difficult because existing family therapies are often complex and long-lasting. In this study, we want to look at the effectiveness of a simpler, more efficient, and more convenient family therapy.

We are examining the potential of Brief Family Involved Treatment (BFIT) to improve treatment outcomes for veterans participating in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for alcohol use. The entire study is conducted over telehealth. To participate, a veteran must select a co-participant (family member, significant other, friend, etc.) that is not seeking treatment for their own substance use treatment. Both the veteran and the co-participant must be 21 years or older.

Your participation in this study may help researchers improve treatment approaches for veterans struggling with alcohol use disorder. Further research today and join our compensated study!

Additional Information

The purpose of this research study is to evaluate the effect of Brief Family Involved Treatment via telehealth on veterans’ alcohol use.

You and your support partner may qualify for this study if you meet the following criteria.

Key Criteria for Veterans:

  • 2 or more heavy drinking days (4+ drinks for women, 5+ drinks for men) in the past two months
  • Have an adult family member/friend/partner who is willing to participate
  • Able to provide informed consent and participate in all parts of the study
  • Stable dose of psychotropic medications for at least the past 4 weeks
  • No history of psychotic or bipolar disorder
  • Not experiencing alcohol withdrawal
  • No current suicidal or homicidal ideation/intent
  • No severe violence in the past 6 months


Key Criteria for Support Partners:

  • Not seeking treatment for their own alcohol or drug problem
  • No history of psychotic or bipolar disorder
  • Not experiencing alcohol withdrawal
  • No current suicidal or homicidal ideation/intent
  • No severe violence in the past 6 months

Baseline Visit:

Each partner will complete this visit independently. In this visit, participants will sign an informed consent document and complete several interviews and surveys to help determine eligibility. This visit lasts about 2-2.5 hours.

Weekly Therapy Visits:

Participants (both together) will join a virtual call with a study staff member to complete a check in visit. In this visit they will be assessed for any health changes, assess their drinking history since their last visit and complete some short surveys.

After the check in visit, the therapy sessions will begin. Therapy sessions will either be BFIT (Brief Family Involved Therapy) or CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). If CBT, the veteran will attend alone (co-participant will not attend therapy). If BFIT, both enrolled participants (veteran and co-participant) will attend therapy.  

Therapy sessions will be scheduled for 1-hour and can potentially be shorter in duration. They will occur weekly for 12 weeks.

Follow Up Visits:

Will be completed 3 and 6 months from the completion of therapy. No therapy will be administered during these visits. Surveys and interviews will be completed to reflect on the treatment phase of the trial and assess drinking levels after therapy. These visits last about 1 hour each.

Both veterans and their co-participants will be compensated up to $500 each for completing all parts of the study.

There is no cost for you to participate in the study.