CUE-EXPOSURE TO ALCOHOL-ASSOCIATED STIMULI REDUCES AUTONOMIC REACTIVITY, BUT NOT CRAVING AND ANXIETY, IN DEPENDENT DRINKERS

C G MCCUSKER, K BROWN, Chris McCusker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A controlled trial was conducted of cue-exposure with dependent drinkers in treatment. All subjects were engaged in an insight-orientated therapy programme, and responses to an alcohol-associated, compared with a neutral, stimulus were assessed at the beginning and end of treatment. Compared with a control group, which did not receive intervening cue-exposure sessions, subjects who received such interventions manifested reductions in heart rate, salivation and arousal responses to the alcohol-associated, compared with the neutral, stimulus. They did not, however, show similar reductions in subjective estimates of craving and anxiety. These results and the desynchrony in reductions in cue-reactivity across response domains are discussed in terms of their implications for cue-exposure in treatment and recent theoretical conceptualizations of the relationship between autonomic reactivity, craving and drinking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume30
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1995

Cite this