Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 310-314

Cognitive functions among recently detoxified patients with alcohol dependence and their association with motivational state to quit

1 Department of Psychiatric Nursing, College of Nursing, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Balaji Bharadwaj
Room No. 1081, Ground Floor, Hospital Block, Department of Psychiatry, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Dhanvantri Nagar, Puducherry - 605 006
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPSYM.IJPSYM_72_18

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Context: Cognitive impairments are common among patients with alcohol dependence. It may involve frontal executive dysfunction, global cognitive impairments, or both. Motivation to quit alcohol involves recognition of alcohol use as a problem. This ability may be construed as a cognitive symptom. Aims: The aim is to study the frequency of cognitive dysfunction among patients with alcohol dependence and to study the association between cognitive dysfunction and the motivation to quit alcohol. Materials and Methods: Fifty-six adult males with alcohol dependence (International Classification of Diseases-10) who had completed a course of detoxification and who did not have active withdrawal symptoms or acute medical illnesses were recruited for this study. Their cognitive functions were tested using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB). Their motivation levels were assessed using the Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale. Clinical details were collected using a semi-structured pro forma. Results: Global cognitive impairment (MoCA <26) was seen in 81% and frontal executive dysfunction (FAB <12) in 16% of patients. Higher MoCA and FAB scores correlated with better education, while lower FAB scores correlated with higher age. The 14 patients (25%) with good motivation did not differ in age, education, years of dependence, or MoCA or FAB scores from poorly motivated patients. FAB scores, but not MoCA, were associated with poor motivation. All nine patients with FAB <12 were poorly motivated to quit alcohol; likelihood score = 5.731, P = 0.017. Conclusions: Four-fifths of patients with alcohol dependence had global cognitive impairments after the detoxification period. One-sixth had frontal executive dysfunction. Cognitive functions were not significantly correlated with the duration of dependence. Presence of frontal executive dysfunction was associated with almost six times likelihood that the patient will be poorly motivated to quit alcohol.

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