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01-12-2014 | Uitgave 10/2014

Quality of Life Research 10/2014

Quality of life, alcohol detoxification and relapse: Is quality of life a predictor of relapse or only a secondary outcome measure?

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2014
Rocco Luigi Picci, Francesco Oliva, Marco Zuffranieri, Paola Vizzuso, Luca Ostacoli, Alessandro Jaretti Sodano, Pier Maria Furlan



To estimate variations in Overall Quality Of Life (OQOL) within 12 months following alcohol detoxification and to evaluate the predictive value of OQOL for relapse and alcohol use severity.


Alcohol use disorders and four OQOL domains (physical health, psychological health, social relationships and environment) were assessed in 199 patients entering in-patient alcohol detoxification. Follow-up assessments were performed at 6 and 12 months after discharge. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses explored the relationship between OQOL and alcohol use severity, examining differences between abstinent and relapsed patients. The predictive value of OQOL was analyzed by logistic and linear regression.


Correlation between OQOL and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scores was confirmed at all stages of observation. Abstinent patients showed a significant improvement in all OQOL domains at 6 months after discharge, whereas OQOL domains did not undergo any significant change in relapsed patients. Baseline OQOL did not prove to be predictive of either relapse or alcohol use severity.


Overall quality of life changed in parallel with alcohol use severity throughout the duration of the study, confirming it to be a useful and sensitive measure of secondary outcome for alcohol detoxification. Conversely, none of the OQOL baseline scores functioned as predictors of relapse within 12 months following discharge or alcohol use severity in relapsed patients.

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