|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 384-391
Integrated intervention program for alcoholism improves impulsiveness and disadvantageous reward processing/risk-taking
Rajesh Kumar1, Keshav J Kumar1, Vivek Benegal2, Bangalore N Roopesh1, Girikematha S Ravi3
1 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Biostatistics, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Background: Impulsivity and aberrant reward processing are the core features of substance use disorders, including alcoholism. The present study examined the effects of an Integrated Intervention Program for Alcoholism (IIPA) on impulsiveness and disadvantageous reward processing/risk-taking in persons with alcoholism.
Materials and Methods: The study adopted age- and education-matched (±1 year) randomized control design with the pre-post comparison. The sample comprised 50 persons with alcoholism. They were allotted randomly into two groups, the intervention (IIPA) group and treatment as usual (TAU) group (n = 25 in each). Participants were assessed at pre-intervention on impulsivity (Barratt's Impulsiveness Scale) and decision-making task, which reflects reward processing deficits (modified Iowa gambling task [mIGT]). The TAU group received usual treatment for alcoholism (i.e., pharmacotherapy; three sessions in a week group therapy on relapse prevention and six sessions in week yoga) for 18 days. The intervention group received IIPA along with usual treatment (except yoga). Outcome assessment was repeated after 18 days of intervention.
Results: Both groups were comparable at pre-intervention (baseline). However, the intervention (IIPA) group showed a significant reduction in impulsivity and selection from disadvantageous decks on mIGT at post-intervention, while the TAU group had no significant change.
Conclusion: The findings suggest that IIPA could improve impulsivity and disadvantageous reward processing/risk-taking in persons with alcoholism. These are core features of substance use disorders and could pose a high chance for relapse after treatment. Further studies may examine improving these characteristics with IIPA and its impact on treatment outcomes such as relapse rate and maintaining sobriety.
Dr. Rajesh Kumar
Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru - 560 029, Karnataka
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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