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Motivation to change and posttreatment temptation to drink: a multicenter study among alcohol-dependent patients

Authors Fiabane E, Ottonello M, Zavan V, Pistarini C, Giorgi I

Received 23 March 2017

Accepted for publication 26 July 2017

Published 3 October 2017 Volume 2017:13 Pages 2497—2504


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Elena Fiabane,1,2 Marcella Ottonello,1,3 Valeria Zavan,4 Caterina Pistarini,1 Ines Giorgi5

1Department of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, ICS Maugeri Spa SB, Institute of Genoa Nervi, Genoa, 2Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, 3Department of Medicine, PhD Program in Advance Sciences and Technologies in Rehabilitation Medicine and Sport, Università di Tor Vergata, Rome, 4Alcohol Unit, Addiction Department, Alessandria, 5Psychology Unit, ICS Maugeri Spa SB, Scientific Institute of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Background: An inpatient 28-day rehabilitation program for alcohol dependence is focused on detoxification, enhancing motivation to change, and coping strategies for the management of emotional distress and temptation to drink. The aims of the present study were to investigate 1) changes over time in motivation to change, anxiety, and depression in individuals undergoing residential rehabilitation treatment for alcohol addiction, and 2) which pretreatment factors are associated with posttreatment temptation to drink.
Methods: We assessed 432 patients diagnosed with alcohol dependence based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision) consecutively recruited from seven residential rehabilitation centers in Northern Italy. Patients were assessed by means of self-report questionnaires at the beginning of rehabilitation (pretreatment) and before their hospital discharge (posttreatment) regarding motivation to change and self-efficacy (motivation assessment of change – alcoholism version), readiness to change and temptation to drink (visual analog scales), and depression and anxiety (cognitive behavioral assessment – outcome evaluation).
Results: Results showed an overall improvement in motivation to change and a significant reduction over time in depression and anxiety levels for the total sample, particularly patients with low baseline level of temptation to drink. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that significant predictors of posttreatment temptation to drink were polysubstance dependence (p<0.001), readiness to change (p=0.01), and self-efficacy (p=0.05).
Conclusion: Inpatients’ rehabilitation for alcohol dependence is associated with an overall improvement in motivation to change and a significant reduction of psychological distress. Treatments for alcohol-dependent patients should focus on motivation to change, negative moods, and relapse prevention strategies for the management of craving.

Keywords: addiction, alcohol, motivation to change, rehabilitation, craving

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