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Psychol Addict Behav. 2019 Aug;33(5):431-441. doi: 10.1037/adb0000473. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Associations between dispositional mindfulness, craving, and drinking in alcohol-dependent patients: An ecological momentary assessment study.

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Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
IVO Addiction Research Institute.


Hazardous alcohol use remains a significant global public health problem. A better understanding of relapse may assist the development of new interventions. Low levels of dispositional mindfulness may be a risk factor for craving and alcohol use, but few studies have examined these associations prospectively in an alcohol-dependent sample. In an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study, Dutch alcohol dependent patients (N = 43) carried around a personal digital assistant for 4 weeks while trying to maintain abstinence. Participants completed assessments at random times 3 times per day, and when they felt a strong urge to drink or came to the brink of drinking without doing so. At each assessment, stress, negative affect, craving, recent drinking, and attentional or approach bias were assessed. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed at baseline with the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). More mindful individuals (higher MAAS scores) reported lower craving than less mindful individuals. There was no evidence that stress, negative affect, attentional bias, or approach bias mediated the association between MAAS and craving. However, there was evidence for an indirect path from MAAS to drinking such that higher mindfulness was associated with lower craving ratings that in turn were associated with less drinking. There was no evidence that MAAS significantly moderated associations between stress/negative affect/cognitive biases and craving, or between craving and drinking. In sum, more mindful recovering alcohol dependent patients reported lower craving ratings than less mindful patients, and this association appeared to be independent of stress/negative affect and cognitive biases. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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