Psychosocial findings in alcohol-dependent patients before and after three months of total alcohol abstinence

Anna Ferrulli, Lorenzo Leggio, Silvia Cardone, Cristina D'Angelo, Antonio Mirijello, Luisa Vonghia, Antonio Miceli, Giovanni Gasbarrini, Giovanni Addolorato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) may be associated with several psychological and affective disorders. It is controversial, however, if these symptoms are a cause or rather a consequence of alcohol dependence. There are few data testing simultaneously psychosocial and affective disorders before and after a period of alcohol abstinence. The aim of this study was to perform multiple psychometric evaluations in alcohol-dependent patients before and after 12 weeks of abstinence. Twenty-five alcohol-dependent patients were included in the study. The following psychometric tests were administered at baseline (T0) and after 12 weeks (T1): addiction severity index (ASI), brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS), social behavior scale (SBS), Sheehan disability scale (DISS), aggression questionnaire (AQ). At T1, 16 (64%) patients were abstinent, 5 (20%) patients dropped out and 4 (16%) patients relapsed. Compared to T0, patients totally abstinent at T1 showed a significant reduction of the scores related to BPRS, BPRS-E and its subscales (except BPRS 5), ASI 1, ASI 2, ASI 3, ASI 6, ASI 7, BSM, AQ, DISS 1, DISS 2, DISS 3 (p <0.05). No significant changes in ASI 4, ASI 5, DISS 4, and DISS 5, BPRS 5 scores were found at T1 compared to T0. The present study indicates that total alcohol abstinence improves psychometric features, such as alcohol addiction severity, psychiatric rating, social behavior, aggressiveness, and disability. Larger controlled studies are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle 17
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Issue numberJUL
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Aggressiveness
  • Alcohol addiction severity
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Disability
  • Social behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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