Craving and relapse measurement in alcoholism.
This paper attempts to summarize the measurement of craving with four different craving instruments and to relate this to definitions and measurement of relapse. The definitions of relapse may vary between studies and researchers, but are usually well defined. Five commonly used methods to measure relapse are: (1) quantity/frequency of drinking; (2) cumulative duration of abstinence (CDA); (3) post-withdrawal abstinent period; (4) stable recovery period; (5) the time line follow-back method. The definition of craving is much less clear and is mostly described as an emotional-motivational state or as obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Four self-rating instruments are briefly discussed and compared: the Obsessive-Compulsive Drinking Scale, OCDS, the Lubeck Craving Scale, LCRR, the Alcohol Craving Questionnaire, ACQ-Now-SF-R, and ordinal scales (e.g. visual analogue, Likert, or verbal descriptive scales). These instruments measure different aspects or dimensions of craving over different periods. The different dimensions measured suggest that there is still a need to conceptualize a standard interpretation of the word craving. There is a need also to measure an emotional-motivational dimension, a cognitive-behavioural dimension, expectancies, and effects on positive and negative reinforcement with different instruments or with one multidimensional instrument. It is suggested that different patients are expected to have different craving profiles. (+info)
Intimate partner violence and stalking behavior: exploration of patterns and correlates in a sample of acutely battered women.
The aims of this study were to provide descriptive data on stalking in a sample of acutely battered women and to assess the interrelationship between constructs of emotional abuse, physical violence, and stalking in battered women. We recruited a sample of 114 battered women from shelters, agencies, and from the community at large. Results support the growing consensus that violent and harassing stalking behaviors occur with alarming frequency among physically battered women, both while they are in the relationship and after they leave their abusive partners. Emotional and psychological abuse emerged as strong predictors of within- and postrelationship stalking, and contributed a unique variance to women's fears of future serious harm or death, even after the effects of physical violence were controlled. The length of time a woman was out of the violent relationship was the strongest predictor of postseparation stalking, with increased stalking found with greater time out of the relationship. Results suggest the need to further study the heterogeneity of stalking and to clarify its relationship to constructs of emotional and physical abuse in diverse samples that include stalked but nonbattered women, as women exposed to emotional abuse, and dating violence. (+info)
The impact of severe stalking experienced by acutely battered women: an examination of violence, psychological symptoms and strategic responding.
Stalking has been relatively understudied compared to other dimensions of intimate partner violence. The purpose of this article was to examine concurrent and subsequent intimate partner abuse, strategic responses and symptomatic consequences of severe stalking experienced by battered women. Thirty-five battered women classified as "relentlessly stalked" and 31 infrequently stalked battered women were compared. Compared to infrequently stalked battered women, relentlessly stalked battered women reported: (a) more severe concurrent physical violence, sexual assault and emotional abuse: (b) increased post-separation assault and stalking; (c) increased rates of depression and PTSD; and (d) more extensive use of strategic responses to abuse. Results underscore the scope and magnitude of stalking faced by battered women and have implications for assessment and intervention strategies. (+info)
Reward craving and withdrawal relief craving: assessment of different motivational pathways to alcohol intake.
AIMS: Craving for the rewarding effects of alcohol may be evoked by conditioned alcohol-like effects whereas conditioned compensatory responses may induce withdrawal relief craving. We tested the hypothesis that drinking in positive emotional states is associated with appetitive reactions to alcohol-associated cues and contributes to reward craving, while conditioned withdrawal is associated with drinking in negative situations and distressful, obsessive preoccupations with alcohol. METHODS: In 38 detoxified alcoholics, the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale was used to assess the craving factors 'impaired control', 'interference with social functioning' and 'obsession'. Affective responses to alcohol-associated visual stimuli were measured with the affect-modulated eyeblink startle reflex, positive and negative drinking situations with the Inventory of Drinking Situations (IDS) and withdrawal-like symptoms preceding alcohol intake with the revised Clinical Institute Assessment for Alcohol Scale (CIWA-Ar). RESULTS: Appetitive reactions to alcohol-associated cues correlated positively with drinking in positive situations and contributed significantly to the craving factor 'interference' with social and work functioning. The severity of withdrawal-like symptoms preceding alcohol intake contributed to the craving factor 'obsession'; however, contrary to our hypothesis, this measure of conditioned withdrawal correlated with drinking not only in negative but also in positive situations. CONCLUSIONS: Drinking in positive and negative situations, appetitive reactions to alcohol and withdrawal-like symptoms contributed differentially to the craving factors 'obsession' and 'interference', supporting the notion of different craving factors with separate underlying mechanisms. (+info)
Obsessions and compulsions in Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism.
BACKGROUND: Obsessive-compulsive behaviours are common and disabling in autistic-spectrum disorders (ASD) but little is known about how they compare with those experienced by people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). AIM: To make such a comparison. METHOD: A group of adults with high-functioning ASD (n=40) were administered the Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale and Symptom Checklist and their symptoms compared with a gender-matched group of adults with a primary diagnosis of OCD (n=45). OCD symptoms were carefully distinguished from stereotypic behaviours and interests usually displayed by those with ASD. RESULTS: The two groups had similar frequencies of obsessive-compulsive symptoms, with only somatic obsessions and repeating rituals being more common in the OCD group. The OCD group had higher obsessive-compulsive symptom severity ratings but up to 50% of the ASD group reported at least moderate levels of interference from their symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Obsessions and compulsions are both common in adults with high-functioning ASD and are associated with significant levels of distress. (+info)
Lifetime prevalence and impact of stalking in a European population: epidemiological data from a middle-sized German city.
BACKGROUND: There is a lack of community-based studies on prevalence rates of stalking and the impact of stalking on victims in European countries. AIMS: To examine lifetime and point prevalence rates of stalking, behavioural and psychological consequences for victims, and the impact of stalking on current psychological well-being in a German community sample. METHOD: A postal survey was conducted with a sample randomly selected from the population of a middle-sized German city; 679 people (400 women, 279 men) responded. The survey included a stalking questionnaire and the WHO-5 well-being scale. RESULTS: Almost 12% of the respondents (n=78, 68 women, 10 men) reported having been stalked. A multiple regression analysis revealed a significant effect of victimisation on psychological well-being. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified a high lifetime prevalence of stalking in the community. Effects on victims' psychological health are significant, suggesting that the phenomenon deserves more attention in future community mental health research. (+info)
The temperament and character inventory in women with migraine.
The purpose of this work was to investigate: (1) the differences in temperament and character between 49 women with migraine and 49 controls using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), and (2) the extent to which these differences were related to migraine or to the presence of comorbid depression. The migraine patients scored significantly higher than the controls in two temperament dimensions-Harm Avoidance (HA) and Persistence (P)-and significantly lower in one character dimension-Self-Directedness (SDir) (Student's t). After multiple logistic regression, the TCI P and HA dimensions were significantly associated with the presence of migraine. The HA dimension was also related to the presence of depression. Our results show that in migraine the higher HA score could be partly associated to comorbid depression while the high P dimension seems to be solely related to the presence of migraine. (+info)
Stalking of mental health professionals: an underrecognised problem.
Doctors and mental healthcare professionals are at greater risk of being stalked than the general population, particularly by their patients. Despite causing significant psychological distress, stalking remains underrecognised and poorly managed. Healthcare organisations should ensure appropriate policies are in place to aid awareness and minimise risk, including the provision of formal educational programmes. (+info)