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Title: Identifying Triggers of Alcohol Craving to Develop Effective Virtual Environments for Cue Exposure Therapy
Author: Ghiţă, Alexandra
Teixidó López, Lídia
Monras Arnau, Miquel
Ortega, Lluisa
Mondon, Silvia
Gual, Antoni
Miranda Paredes, Sofia
Villares Urgell, Laura
Porras-García, Bruno
Ferrer, Marta (Ferrer García)
Gutiérrez Maldonado, José
Keywords: Consum d'alcohol
Abús de substàncies
Realitat virtual
Teràpia d'exposició
Drinking of alcoholic beverages
Substance abuse
Virtual reality
Exposure therapy
Issue Date: 29-Jan-2019
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Abstract: Background: Many studies have indicated that alcohol craving is a core mechanism in the acquisition, maintenance, and precipitation of relapse in alcohol use disorder (AUD). A common treatment approach in AUD is cue exposure therapy (CET). New technologies like virtual reality (VR) have the potential to enhance the effectiveness of CET by creating realistic scenarios in naturalistic environments. In this study, we aimed to determine relevant triggers of alcohol craving in patients with AUD. Methods: We enrolled 75 outpatients diagnosed with AUD according to the DSM-5 criteria Participants completed the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test and a self-administered questionnaire to assess alcohol craving. The variables included in the craving questionnaire were as follows: presence of others, situations, time of the day, day of the week, mood, and type of alcoholic beverage. Results: Greater levels of alcohol craving were seen in many situations, including being at a party, in a restaurant, in a bar or pub, and at home. Drinking alone and drinking with two or more friends were equally associated with higher levels of craving. Drinking at night and drinking at weekends also emerged as triggers for alcohol craving. Emotional states like anxiety or tension, sadness, stress, frustration, or irritability were highly associated with urges to drink alcohol. The alcoholic drinks most highly associated with increased levels of craving were beer, wine, and whisky. Gender and age implications were discussed. Conclusion: This study is part of a larger project aiming to develop and validate CET based on VR technology for patients with AUD who are resistant to classical treatment. The identified triggers have been used to develop relevant VR environments for CET, and further research is ongoing to implement our findings.
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It is part of: Frontiers in Psychology, 2019, vol. 10, p. 74
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ISSN: 1664-1078
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Medicina)
Articles publicats en revistes (Psicologia Clínica i Psicobiologia)

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