Associations between dispositional mindfulness, craving, and drinking in alcohol-dependent patients: An ecological momentary assessment study

E.H. Zseto, T.M. Schoenmakers, H. van de Mheen, M. Snelleman, A.J. Waters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Hazardous alcohol use remains a significant global public health problem. A better understanding of relapse may assist the development of new interventions. Low levels of dispositional mindfulness may be a risk factor for craving and alcohol use, but few studies have examined these associations prospectively in an alcohol-dependent sample. In an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) study, Dutch alcohol dependent patients (N = 43) carried around a personal digital assistant for 4 weeks while trying to maintain abstinence. Participants completed assessments at random times 3 times per day, and when they felt a strong urge to drink or came to the brink of drinking without doing so. At each assessment, stress, negative affect, craving, recent drinking, and attentional or approach bias were assessed. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed at baseline with the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). More mindful individuals (higher MAAS scores) reported lower craving than less mindful individuals. There was no evidence that stress, negative affect, attentional bias, or approach bias mediated the association between MAAS and craving. However, there was evidence for an indirect path from MAAS to drinking such that higher mindfulness was associated with lower craving ratings that in turn were associated with less drinking. There was no evidence that MAAS significantly moderated associations between stress/negative affect/cognitive biases and craving, or between craving and drinking. In sum, more mindful recovering alcohol dependent patients reported lower craving ratings than less mindful patients, and this association appeared to be independent of stress/negative affect and cognitive biases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-441
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • ADDICTION
  • APPROACH BIAS MODIFICATION
  • APPROACH/AVOIDANCE TENDENCIES
  • ATTENTIONAL BIAS
  • DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS
  • MECHANISMS
  • RELAPSE PREVENTION
  • SMOKING
  • SUBSTANCE USE
  • TRAIT MINDFULNESS
  • approach bias
  • attentional bias
  • craving
  • ecological momentary assessment
  • mindfulness

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