An in vivo study of the relationship between craving and reaction time during alcohol detoxification using the ecological momentary assessment.
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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ABSTRACT: Initial lab studies suggest that adolescent drinkers crave alcohol when presented with alcohol cues. Whether this effect generalizes to the natural environment, however, remains unknown, and studies have not examined whether craving predicts drinking among youths. This study builds on existing research by pairing controlled lab-based cue reactivity assessments (CRAs) with data collected in the natural environment using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods. We examined whether alcohol cues evoke craving among adolescent drinkers in the lab and natural environment, and tested the clinical relevance of craving during adolescence by examining the prospective association between craving and alcohol use. Non-treatment-seeking adolescent drinkers (N = 42; ages 15 to 20 years) completed a lab-based CRA followed by a 1-week EMA monitoring period. During the EMA period, youth were prompted randomly throughout the day to record momentary data on craving and contextual factors (e.g., alcohol cues, peers present). Alcohol cues elicited craving in the lab, and this effect generalized to the natural environment, especially among adolescents with more alcohol problems. In addition, craving predicted subsequent drinking levels in the natural environment. This study demonstrates the utility of pairing lab paradigms with EMA methods to better characterize adolescents' reactivity to alcohol cues. Results implicate craving as a clinically meaningful motivator for drinking among adolescents and highlight a potentially important target of pharmacological or behavioral intervention.Psychopharmacology 12/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00213-013-3372-6 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Despite growing use of computerized ambulatory monitoring in substance dependence research, little is known about the comparative feasibility and validity of these novel methods by substance type. This study compares the feasibility and validity of computerized ambulatory monitoring in outpatients seeking treatment for alcohol, tobacco, cannabis or opiate dependence. A total of 109 participants were recruited from an outpatient treatment center and completed standard clinical instruments followed by 2 weeks of computerized ambulatory monitoring of daily life experiences and substance use. Individuals with cannabis dependence had the lowest rates of study acceptance (31%) as well as compliance with the repeated electronic interviews (79.9%), while those with tobacco dependence had the highest rates (62% and 91.0%, respectively). Concurrent validity was found between scores from standard clinical instruments and similar constructs assessed in daily life, with no difference by substance group. While no fatigue effects were detected, change in some variables was observed as a function of time in the study. Computerized ambulatory protocols are feasible and provide valid data in individuals with diverse forms of dependence, but compliance to repeated sampling methodology may vary by substance type.Drug and alcohol dependence 05/2012; 126(1-2):118-23. DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.04.025 · 3.60 Impact Factor
Article: Measurement of alcohol craving[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Despite considerable research activity and application in treatment, the construct of craving remains poorly understood. We propose that cravings and urges are cognitive-emotional events in time, characterised by frequency, duration, intensity and salience. Commonly used measures of alcohol craving are reviewed, and their strengths and weaknesses identified. Most measures confound craving with behaviours, or with separable cognitive phenomena such as expectancies, intentions, or perceived behavioural control. These confounds have limited our advances in understanding the determinants and consequences of craving. Based on the criteria applied in this review, among the better performing multi-item measures are the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale and Obsessive subscale of the Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale. Optimal assessment strategies are likely to involve daily assessments of peak intensity of cravings, desires or urges and of the frequency and duration of craving episodes. Of particular interest are measures of intensity at times when individuals are at risk of drinking or of other functional impacts from craving.Addictive behaviors 09/2012; 38(2). DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2012.08.004 · 2.25 Impact Factor