Background: Studying personality profiles allows researchers to generate important hypotheses in risk factors and correlates of alcohol use/misuse. Studies examining the association between personality traits and treatment outcome are limited in India. We studied the correlation between personality and treatment outcome in patients with alcohol dependence.
Methods: Adult participants with alcohol dependence were recruited from the inpatient and outpatient wards of de-addiction unit of a tertiary care facility in India using a prospective design and followed up after 3 months. Questionnaires administered were revised NEO personality inventory (NEO-PI-R), alcohol use disorders identification test, and advanced warning of alcohol relapse (AWARE).
Results: Out of 99 recruited participants (92% males) with mean age of 37 (±8.36) years, 82 (82.8%) patients were followed up to 3 months. E4 (activity) facet of the extraversion domain in the NEO-PI-R significantly correlated with the baseline drinking scores (r = 0.204, P = 0.042, n = 99) and AWARE scores (r = 0.276, P = 0.043, n = 54). There was a significant negative correlation between the E2 (gregariousness) facet and satisfaction with life scores (r = -0.211, P = 0.036, n = 99). Age at first drink was significantly lower among relapsers (P = 0.021).
Conclusion: Our study suggests that factors related to extraversion, specifically, high activity might be associated with higher drinking as well as higher risk of alcohol relapse. Predicting alcohol relapse by studying the personality traits would help clinicians in improving treatment outcomes.
Keywords: Alcohol dependence; extraversion; personality; relapse; revised NEO personality inventory.