Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-51

Set-shifting and selective attentional impairment in alcoholism and its relation with drinking variables

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bangalore, India
3 Central Institute of Psychiatry, Ranchi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sanjeev Ranjan
S-4, Kabini Hostel, NIMHANS, Hosur Road, Bangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.31619

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Background: Individuals with chronic alcoholism show impairments in visual scanning, set-shifting and response inhibition abilities. Aim: To study the relationship between performance on tests of set-shifting and selective attention, and alcohol intake variables (duration of dependence, amount of alcohol intake, and duration of abstinence during the past year). Methods: In this cross-sectional, controlled study, inpatients from a tertiary care centre were selected. Thirty patients with alcohol dependence and 15 age-, sex- and education-matched normal controls were administered the Trail Making Test (TMT) and Stroop test to assess visual scanning, set-shifting and response inhibition abilities. The data were analysed using the χ2 test, t test and ANOVA with post-hoc analysis. Results: The patient group performed poorly on all measures of the tests. The duration of dependence and the amount of alcohol intake (during the past 1 year) were not found to significantly affect the performance on the 2 tests. The duration of abstinence during the past 1 year was significantly related to performance on the Stroop test with patients having a longer duration of abstinence showing lesser impairment. Conclusion: Patients with a fewer number of days of alcohol intake during the past 1 year show relatively better visual scanning, set-shifting and response inhibition abilities.



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