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Cognitive Impairments in Early-Detoxified Alcohol-Dependent Inpatients and Their Associations with Socio-Demographic, Clinical and Psychological Factors: An Exploratory Study

Authors Caneva S, Ottonello M, Torselli E, Pistarini C, Spigno P, Fiabane E

Received 18 March 2020

Accepted for publication 20 May 2020

Published 15 July 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1705—1716


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Stefano Caneva,1 Marcella Ottonello,1 Elisa Torselli,1,2 Caterina Pistarini,3 Paola Spigno,1 Elena Fiabane1,4

1Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, ICS Maugeri Spa SB, Institute of Genoa Nervi, Genoa, Italy; 2Miller Institute for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, Genoa, Italy; 3Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, ICS Maugeri Spa SB, Scientific Institute of Pavia, Genoa, Italy; 4Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Correspondence: Caterina Pistarini
Department of Physical & Rehabilitation Medicine, ICS Maugeri Spa SB, Institute of Pavia, Via Maugeri 4, Pavia, Genoa 27100, Italy
Tel +39 010 30791250
Fax +39 010 3079 1269

Purpose: Cognitive impairment is common among patients with alcohol use disorder (AUD). However, neuropsychological assessment is not usually included as routine practice in alcohol rehabilitation programs. The aim of this study was to describe qualitatively the cognitive deficits in early-detoxified AUD patients undergoing rehabilitation and to explore relevant associations with socio-demographic, clinical and psychological factors.
Patients and Methods: Forty-one patients with a diagnosis of AUD were consecutively recruited from a residential rehabilitation hospital in Northern Italy. Cognitive impairment was assessed using the Brief Neuropsychological Examination 2 (ENB-2). Anxiety, depression and severity of alcohol dependence were also evaluated using validated self-report questionnaires. Alcohol relapse was investigated 1 month after discharge.
Results: Overall, 31.7% of AUD patients showed cognitive impairments according to the global score scale. However, 70.7% had an impaired performance on at least one test of the ENB-2, with particular regard to executive function, visuospatial and memory domains. Age, education and abstinence at admission were the most relevant factors associated with cognitive deficits in this clinical population.
Conclusion: The detection of cognitive impairments is essential in order to adapt alcohol rehabilitation treatment to patients with cognitive deficits and enhance clinical outcomes.

Keywords: neuropsychological functioning, alcohol use disorder, alcohol detoxification, rehabilitation, relapse

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