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Changes in processing speed during early abstinence from alcohol dependence

Powell, A, Sumnall, H, Kullu, C, Owens, L and Montgomery, C (2024) Changes in processing speed during early abstinence from alcohol dependence. Journal of Psychopharmacology. pp. 1-11. ISSN 0269-8811

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Background: Processing speed is a task-independent construct underpinning more complex goal-related abilities. Processing speed is impaired in alcohol dependence (AD) and is linked to relapse, as are the functions it underpins. Reliable measurement of processing speed may allow tracking of AD recovery trajectories and identify patients requiring additional support. Aims: To assess changes in reaction time (RT) from baseline (at the start of a detoxification programme) across early abstinence. Methods: Vibrotactile RT was assessed in early recovery between days 3 and 7 of treatment in 66 individuals with AD (25 females; aged 19–74, 44.60 ± 10.60 years) and against 35 controls tested on one occasion (19 females; 41.00 ± 13.60), using two multivariate multiple regressions. A mixed multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) of available AD data (n = 45) assessed change in RT between timepoints and between treatment settings (outpatient vs inpatient). Results: The group (AD vs control) significantly predicted choice RT at baseline and follow-up but did not significantly predict simple RT or RT variability, which is inconsistent with previous findings. At follow-up, mental fatigue was also predicted by the group, and MANCOVA indicated that this had worsened in inpatients but improved in outpatients. Conclusions: Recovery of RT measures so early in the treatment journey was not in line with previous research which indicates persisting deficits. The interaction between setting and timepoint indicates that despite being typically less medically complex, outpatients require ongoing support and monitoring during their recovery.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 11 Medical and Health Sciences; 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Psychiatry
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: SAGE Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 29 May 2024 16:08
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 08:51
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/02698811241254830
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23385
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