The assessment of post-detoxification anhedonia: Influence of clinical and psychosocial variables

Gino Pozzi, Giovanni Martinotti, Daniela Reina, Tiziana Dario, Alessandra Frustaci, Luigi Janiri, Pietro Bria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure, may be regarded either as a temperamental trait or as a state symptom of negative schizophrenia or melancholic depression. In substance use disorders, anhedonia was linked to hypoactivity of the dopaminergic mesolimbic system during protracted withdrawal. The authors investigated the influence of recent clinical and social-environmental factors on the hedonic capability and related psychopathology in a sample of 70 patients manifesting substance dependence (alcohol, opiates, multiple drugs) without severe comorbidity. Three symptom scales covering anhedonia (Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale, SHAPS; Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, SANS; Bech-Rafaelsen Melancholia Scale, BRMES) were administered together with the European adaptation of the Addiction Severity Index (EuropASI). The composite scores from the seven areas of the EuropASI were introduced as independent factors in a stepwise regression analysis having symptom scores of anhedonia as dependent variables. Overall, the EuropASI composites do not explain the variability of the scores of anhedonia. Only in few cases, the regression models show a weak predictive capacity for medical status, alcohol use, and drug use composite scores, with R-square values ranging from 10 to 22%. Even if the study's limitations are noted, anhedonia appears as a psychopathological entity independent from other clinical and psychosocial features of treated addicts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-732
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Anhedonia
  • Cross-sectional
  • EuropASI
  • SANS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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