Videotaped Cue for Urge to Drink Alcohol

Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System, Psychiatry Service, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.31). 05/2002; 26(5):627-34. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2002.tb02584.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The urge to drink alcohol can be robustly and reliably induced via actual exposure to a person's preferred alcoholic beverage. Unfortunately, these exposure paradigms are unwieldy for functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. The goal of this study was to examine whether viewing a personalized videotaped cue could induce alcohol craving. The following hypotheses were tested: (1) individualized cue videotapes can reliably elicit the urge to drink alcohol in alcohol-dependent participants and (2) alcohol drinking histories can predict reactivity to cue.
DSM-IV criteria were used to identify an alcohol-dependent group (ADG). Controls included a light-drinking group and a moderate-drinking group. Urge to drink alcohol was assessed at baseline and after each of five in vivo exposure conditions: water (W), alcohol 1 (A1), mood induction (M), alcohol 2 (A2), and relaxation (R). The entire exposure session was videotaped. Each participant's video footage was digitally edited to produce a 17.5-min cue that was presented to the participant 24 to 72 hr later. Ratings of urge to drink alcohol across the five exposure conditions were compared for both the in vivo and the video exposure sessions.
Fourteen participants (five in the light-drinking group, four in the moderate-drinking group, and five in the ADG) completed both sessions. Participants in each group showed differences between neutral cue exposure (W and R) and alcohol-related cue exposure (A1, M, and A2) in both the in vivo cue session (p < 0.002) and the videotape session (p < 0.02). Post hoc comparisons among the groups to alcohol-related cues established that, in both sessions (p(in vivo) = 0.04; p(videotape) = 0.04), the ADG demonstrated the greatest urge to drink.
Alcohol cue reactivity can be reliably induced and assessed in alcohol-dependent participants via personalized videotapes. History of alcohol consumption is positively correlated with the degree of cue reactivity. This study advances our ability to assess alcohol cue reactivity in the absence of alcohol.

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