eISSN: 1689-3530
ISSN: 0867-4361
Alcoholism and Drug Addiction/Alkoholizm i Narkomania
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vol. 35
Original paper

Research into alcohol-dependent persons in treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Part one – the mental health of patients

Jan Chodkiewicz
Kamila Morawska
Katarzyna Łukowska

Institute of Psychology, University of Łódź, Poland
National Centre for Prevention of Dependence, Warsaw, Poland
Alcohol Drug Addict 2022; 35 (3): 171-186
Online publish date: 2023/02/24
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Although it is widely acknowledged that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected the population’s mental health, there has been little research into its effect on those with alcohol dependence, or those in addiction therapy during the period. The aim of the present study was to determine the level of mental performance of patients receiving treatment for alcohol dependence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Material and methods
The study included 454 people (351 men and 103 women) completing inpatient, day-care and outpatient therapy in various dependence treatment centres in Poland in 2021. All were surveyed with the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Questionnaire (GAD-7), the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS), the Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS).

The alcohol dependent patients finishing therapy demonstrated an intermediate level of mental performance, while about 20% exhibited serious disorders (elevated levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies and alcohol craving). The patients completing inpatient therapy demonstrated more intense disorders than those completing day-care and outpatient therapy. Intense disorders characterised also women, people with accompanying mental disorders and those who had previously used drugs in addition to alcohol.

Around 20% of those completing therapy displayed serious mental disorders, i.e. less than those identified in the research on the functioning of the general population during the pandemic. The weaker performance of women and people with co-occurring mental disorders was confirmed.

People completing therapy during a pandemic generally display an intermediate level of mental performance and life satisfaction. However, our findings regarding the more intense disorders require confirmation in further studies conducted after the end of the pandemic.


Alcohol dependence, COVID-19 pandemic, Therapy

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