Anhedonia and Substance-Related Symptoms in Detoxified Substance-Dependent Subjects: A Correlation StudyJaniri L. · Martinotti G. · Dario T. · Reina D. · Paparello F. · Pozzi G. · Addolorato G. · Di Giannantonio M. · De Risio S.
aInstitute of Psychiatry and Psychology, Treatment Unit for Alcoholism and Multiple Drug Abuse, and bInstitute of Internal Medicine, Catholic University, Rome, Italy
Anhedonia is a condition in which the capacity of experiencing pleasure is totally or partially lost, frequently occurring in mood disorders, as a negative symptom in schizophrenia, and in substance use disorders. In order to test a set of instruments for anhedonia in a population of detoxified opiate, alcohol and multiple substance-dependent subjects, 70 individuals were recruited from three different clinical settings. The following scales were applied: Snaith-Hamilton Pleasure Scale (SHAPS), Bech-Rafaelsen Melancholia Scale (BRMS), Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS), specific withdrawal scales, and visual analogue scales (VAS) for hedonic capability and substance craving. The scales measuring anhedonia either directly (SHAPS, VAS for hedonic capability) or in some key items (SANS, BRMS) were significantly correlated with each other. The period of time since detoxification was inversely correlated with anhedonia and withdrawal symptomatology. Craving was positively correlated with anhedonia. Out of the total sample, only 18.5% could be defined as psychometrically anhedonic. The same correlations were found in this subsample. The composite instrument employed for assessing anhedonia and hedonic capability was found to be sensitive enough to detect such a dimension in the population considered, with the single scales significantly interrelated. In conclusion, we found interrelations between hedonic capability, craving and protracted withdrawal, particularly in opiate-dependent subjects. The strongest association occurred between hedonic capability and craving.
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