The alcohol-dependent outpatient: a clinical typology.

J M Cardoso, A Barbosa, F Ismail, S Silva, M H Glória

Abstract


The aim of this study was to construct a typology integrating sociodemographic, clinical and personality data of alcohol-dependent patients. We studied a consecutive population attending an alcohol-dependent outpatient psychiatric department, assessed by instruments that measured psychiatric, psychopathological, personality and sociodemographic characteristics of alcohol-dependent patients. The factorial analysis allowed us to define three main expressions of alcoholism: physical, psychological and social. In the elicited typology, both physical and social appear mixed in their expression. The psychological expression is divided into two main categories: the alexithymic (with a depressive personal and family history) and the psychopathologic type (with actual depression and anxiety). This typology should allow us to correlate these types with neurophysiological and biochemical patterns and could be particularly useful in building an etiologic model of alcohol dependence which could contribute to a better prediction of prognosis and choice of the best therapeutic intervention.

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