Efficacy of covert sensitization for a patient with alcohol use disorder with memory impairment: A case report

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Abstract

Alcohol use disorder is a chronic, relapsing and remitting illness with limited efficacy of pharmacotherapy in preventing relapse. Several non-pharmacological treatment options are usually used to improve treatment outcomes. In this case report, the patient with alcohol use disorder (as per Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th edition criteria) had memory impairments, which was seen to limit the effectiveness of cognitive approaches such as motivational enhancement therapy. Covert sensitization, a behavioral technique based on operant conditioning, was considered an alternative option along with pharmacotherapy to enhance abstinence and was seen to be effective in creating an association between alcohol use and unpleasant consequences in the patient. We observed an improvement in subjective craving and motivation to abstain following the therapy sessions. This highlights the use of covert sensitization as an alternative non-pharmacological intervention for patients with alcohol use disorder with cognitive impairments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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