Differences in Executive Functions and Problem Solving Styles of Protracted Sober and Relapsed Alcohol-dependent Patients.
Hizli Sayar, Gokben
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In this study, it is aimed to compare the executive functioning and problem solving styles of relapsed alcoholdependent and protracted sober patients and to evaluate the potential clinical factors that act on the duration of sobriety. Fifty-six male patients meeting the DSM-IV alcohol dependence criteria included in the study. All patients were in sobriety period, classified as 32 of them in acute sobriety (relapsed after a maximum period of 6 months sobriety and just completed 3 weeks of detoxification) and 24 of them as protracted sobriety group (sober for a minimum period of 12 months). To evaluate the executive functions and problem solving styles Stroop test, Hanoi Tower Test and Problem Solving Inventory were applied. No significant differences found between two groups regarding executive functions. The protracted sobers were found to use “reflective” and “planfulness” styles more than the relapsed group. There was not any correlation between executive function and cumulative drinking, length of sobriety, educational status, age, alcohol dependency in the family, duration of illness, the amount of daily drinking, and amount of hospitalization. It is concluded that problem solving styles may play a role in staying sober as the “reflective” and “planfulness” styles were being used significantly more in the protracted sober group. Executive functioning which had been shown to be distorted in alcohol-dependent patients did not differ in relapsed and protracted sobriety. Further studies are needed to receive these results to be a determinant in the duration of sobriety.