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Addict Behav. 2008 Sep;33(9):1091-103. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 Feb 20.

Social-cognitive predictors of intended and actual benzodiazepine cessation among chronic benzodiazepine users.

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Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Leiden University, the Netherlands.


Long-term benzodiazepine use is associated with a variety of negative health consequences. Cessation of long-term use is therefore an important health goal. In a prospective study among chronic benzodiazepine users (N=356) social-cognitive factors of benzodiazepine cessation were examined with a nine-month follow-up. Results showed that outcome expectations, self-efficacy and disengagement beliefs predicted intention, and that intention in turn predicted benzodiazepine cessation. More specifically, benzodiazepine users reported a more positive intention to quit when they perceived more positive consequences and fewer negative consequences of cessation. In addition, a higher self-efficacy to quit and lower disengagement beliefs related to lower higher intention. Intention, in turn was the only significant psychosocial predictor of actual quitting at 9 months. The implications of these results will be discussed in terms of possible intervention strategies.

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