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Minerva Psichiatrica 2008 March;49(1):9-17

language: English

Multi-test study in chronic Italian alcoholics: psychopathological features, cognitive performances

Vitali M. 1, Pacini M. 1, Attilia M. L. 1, Romeo M. 1, Lucidi F. 2, Ciccareli M. R. 1, Urso F. A. 1, Grano C. 2, Ceccanti M. 1

1 Alcohol Unit, Clinical Medicine Department University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
2 Department of Psychology University “La Sapienza”, Rome, Italy


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Aim. Studies about psychopathology on alcoholics have begun since 1940. Many studies have identified homogeneous subgroups of alcoholics for psychopathological traits, and other for psychosocial variables. The aim of this study was the identification of homogeneous subgroups (if any) in a series of Italian alcoholic patients attending the Alcohol Unit of the University “La Sapienza”.
Methods. A hundred and fifty-seven subjects (mean age 44.5 yrs, SD±11.3 yrs; 119 males; 38 females) were enrolled for the study; these were selected among patients (N=640) admitted at the Day Hospital of the Alcohol Liver Disease Unit, University “La Sapienza” of Rome, from 1996 to 1999 for a 15-day voluntary treatment. Tests were distributed to asses their alcohol dependence, personality and cognitive performances.
Results. Patients were divided in two clusters: cluster 1 (patients more alcohol dependent, with higher scores in all Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory [MMPI] scales, and with 2-4-8-1 profile, F>70T); cluster 2 (patients less alcohol dependent and with MMPI normal limit profile). No difference between the two clusters about cognitive performances was found.
Conclusion. The collected data demonstrate that personality factors are somehow related to the severity of alcoholic addiction, but could be independent of alcohol dependent brain damage. In cluster 1 subjects, the treatment of psychopathological symptoms could improve their adherence to the treatment of alcohol dependence.

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