An in vivo study of the relationship between craving and reaction time during alcohol detoxification using the ecological momentary assessment.

INSERM (Institut National pour la Santé et la Recherche Medicale), Paris, France.
Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research (Impact Factor: 3.31). 01/2006; 29(12):2135-43. DOI: 10.1097/01.alc.0000191760.42980.50
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To study cognitive interference associated with craving for alcohol, the Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) method was used to measure the relationship between craving and reaction time. A secondary aim was the study of the predictive factors for craving during alcohol detoxification. The EMA enables both repeated measures of craving in a natural setting and the recording of reaction time without the patient being aware of this.
Craving for alcohol, reaction time, sadness and anxiety were recorded 8 to 12 times a day, over three weeks of detoxification in 14 alcoholics (n=1767 measures), on an electronic diary issuing random prompts. Mixed models were used for statistical analysis (alpha=5%, 1-beta=88%).
Reaction time was significantly increased in univariate analysis when a craving episode occurred but this difference did not persist after multivariate analysis. Craving episodes were more frequent and intense than previously reported. Predictive factors of craving during detoxification were: age, gender, sadness, anxiety and the number of previous detoxifications. Antidepressants, anti-craving medications but not benzodiazepines were negatively associated to craving.

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