Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-118

Predictive value of depression and social support with respect to alcohol abstinence

Department of Psychiatry, Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Kalwa, Thane, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Parnika P Saxena
Department of Psychiatry, Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Kalwa, Thane - 400 605, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.92050

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Context: Two co-morbid conditions which have been found in high proportions among treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent subjects are depression and low social support. Aim: We attempted to study both the factors simultaneously in the setting of Alcoholics Anonymous centers in Mumbai. The study intends to understand (1) if pre-existing depression affected the probability of a person abstaining from alcohol and (2) if social support affected the probability of a person abstaining from alcohol. A thorough review of the existing literature was done before initiating the study. Materials and Methods: A single-observer, cross-sectional study was conducted. Subjects with a history of alcohol dependence were included. However, those with other substances abuse and those with a history of anti-depressant usage were excluded. Questionnaires were administered. The Hamilton Depression Scale assessed depression. Similarly, social support was assessed by Social Provisions Scale by Weiss. Results: According to this study depression does not affect alcohol abstinence as the χ2 test shows an insignificant result. Social support also showed a negative correlation with alcohol abstinence. Conclusion: This result is consistent with the findings of other studies such as Davidson et al. (1998). However it is not consistent with the results of the studies having a longer follow-up period. The study had some limitations primarily due to time constraints, the main one being that this study would reveal more significant results if done as a longitudinal study as opposed to a cross-sectional study. Also while interacting with subjects in a group like Alcoholics Anonymous it is important to gain the confidence of the group before obtaining confidence of the individual.

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