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 two – the role of the pandemic and its consequences

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 (4): 249-270
Online publish date: 2023/05/12
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The aim of the study was to determine the influence of experiences, both personal and those occurring during therapy, of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental performance of alcohol dependent people receiving treatment.

Material and methods
The 2021 study included 454 people (351 men and 103 women) completing therapy in various treatment centres in Poland. The tools comprised the Scale of Pandemic-Related Difficulty, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD-7), the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS), the Suicidal Behavior Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R), the International Trauma Questionnaire (ITQ), the Life Satisfaction Scale (SWLS), the Working Alliance Inventory-Short Revised (WAI-SR).

Among the participants, the women experienced many more associated difficulties and anxiety than the men in the pandemic. During treatment, 13% of respondents have relapsed, with this being more likely among those reporting restricted access to therapy. Difficulties at home and in close relationships were strongly associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Patients with COVID-19 symptoms were characterised by a higher degree of psychopathological severity compared to those who did not. No differences were found between those who received the entire therapy “face to face”, those who participated remotely and those who received a combination of the two models.

The experience of a pandemic by those in therapy did not appear to be strongly influenced by its course. The greatest negative effects concerned domestic difficulties and problems with close relationships. However, women, those who displayed COVID-19 symptoms and those who lost their jobs during the pandemic period demonstrated worse mental performance.

Remaining in therapy may have played a protective role in patients with alcohol dependence during the pandemic.


therapy, alcohol dependence, COVID-19 pandemic

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