Objective: Aim of this study was to evaluate clinical variables related with relapse to alcohol abuse during 12 months follow-up after inpatient treatment in male alcohol dependents. Method: Participants were 156 consecutively admitted male alcohol dependents. Among these patients, 102 were available at the evaluation that took place one year after the inpatient treatment. Patients were investigated with the Symptom Check List (SCL-90) and Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) at baseline and with the PENN Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS) one year later, at follow-up. Results: Among 102 alcohol dependent inpatients, 61.8% (n=63) were considered as relapsed to alcohol abuse. Sociodemographic variables did not differ between groups. Mean scores of MAST and global severity index of SCL-90 did not differ significantly between groups, whereas craving score was higher in the relapsed group. Also the relapsed group had less polyclinic control, less attendance to the Outpatient Treatment Program (OTP), less changes in social environment for self protection and less use of anti-craving medications during one year follow-up. Severity of craving and not attending OTP during follow-up period predicted relapse in alcohol dependents. Conclusions: Severity of craving and not attending OTP seems to be the main factors related with relapse. Together with using anti-craving medications, regular attendance to OTP may help patients to recognize and manage with alcohol craving.
Alcohol dependence, craving, relapse, therapy