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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2000 Dec;19(4):369-73.

Cognitive impairment screening in second offense DUI programs.

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Division of Public Health Practice, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Patients enrolled in alcohol treatment programs for driving under the influence (DUI) offenders are at elevated risk of cognitive impairment, but are not systematically screened. We developed a 30-min screening battery that can be administered in a group setting to test patients' ability to handle the cognitive demands of psychoeducational treatment. Testing of 134 volunteers identified 73% as having one or more clinically significant cognitive deficits. A majority of subjects scored below the 50th percentile on tests of word fluency, vocabulary, sustained attention, memory, executive functioning, and impulse control. The prevalence of cognitive impairment in the repeat DUI offender population is extremely high, making DUI treatment programs an ideal venue for screening and referral. Treatment programs should be responsive to the special needs of this population, incorporating teaching techniques that address short attention span, poor memory, lack of verbal fluency, and lack of impulse control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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