Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 51 Number 9, 2014
   Pages 1397 — 1410

Abstract — Alcohol use and craving among Veterans with mental health disorders and mild traumatic brain injury

Amy A. Herrold, PhD;1–2 Neil Jordan, PhD;1–3 Walter M. High, PhD;4–6 Judi Babcock-Parziale, PhD;7 R. Andrew Chambers, MD;8 Bridget Smith, PhD;1,9–10 Charlesnika T. Evans, PhD;1,3,9 Xue Li, PhD;11 Trudy Mallinson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA;12 Shonna Jenkins, MS;4,6 Theresa Louise-Bender Pape, DrPH, MA, CCC-SLP/L1,13–14

1Center of Innovation for Complex Chronic Healthcare, Edward Hines, Jr. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital, Hines, IL; 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; 3Department of Preventive Medicine and Center for Healthcare Studies, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; 4Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY; 5Departments of Neurosurgery and Psychology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY; 6Lexington VA Medical Center, Lexington, KY; 7Southern Arizona VA Health Care System, Tucson, AZ; 8Department of Psychiatry, Neuroscience Research Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN; 9Spinal Cord Injury Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL; 10Child Health Research Program, Stanley Manne Children???s Research Institute, Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children???s Hospital of Chicago, Department of Pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL; 11Cooperative Studies Program Coordinating Center, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL; 12Department of Clinical Research and Leadership, The George Washington University, Washington, DC; 13Research and Development Service, Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL; 14Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL

Abstract — Mental health disorders (MHDs), mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), and alcohol use disorder (AUD) are endemic among recent Veterans, resulting in a population with heterogeneous, co-occurring conditions. While alcohol craving negatively affects rehabilitation and leads to relapse, no studies have examined alcohol craving among Veterans with co-occurring MHDs and mTBI. The purpose of this preliminary cohort study is to describe alcohol craving in a convenience sample of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans (n = 48), including those exposed to traumatic events and experiencing active symptoms. Veterans completed weekly telephone interviews that included the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, consumption questions (AUDIT-C) (week 1) and the Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS) (weeks 1–6). Sixty percent of the sample screened positive on the AUDIT-C for probable AUD. Using Rasch analysis, the person separation reliability of the PACS was strong (0.87) among AUDIT-C positive Veterans. Higher PACS scores were reported among AUDIT-C positive versus AUDIT-C negative Veterans (mixed effects analysis, p < 0.001). PACS scores were higher among AUDIT-C positive Veterans with MHDs with and without mTBI versus AUDIT-C positive combat comparison Veterans (pairwise comparison, p < 0.001). Rates of hazardous alcohol use are high among Iraq and Afghanistan conflict Veterans and suggest that alcohol craving is elevated among those with MHDs with and without mTBI.

Key words: alcohol, Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, anxiety, craving, depression, mild traumatic brain injury, Penn Alcohol Craving Scale, posttraumatic stress disorder, psychometrics, Veteran.


View HTML ¦ View PDF ¦ Contents Vol. 51, No.9

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Herrold AA, Jordan N, High WM, Babcock-Parziale J, Chambers RA, Smith B, Evans CT, Li X, Mallinson T, Jenkins S, Pape TL. Alcohol use and craving among Veterans with mental health disorders and mild traumatic brain injury. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2014;51(9):1397–1410.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2013.07.0170
ResearcherID/ORCID: Judi Babcock-Parziale, PhD: ??E-5862-2012; Trudy Mallinson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA: B-8392-2009
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