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Characteristics of DSM-IV alcohol diagnostic orphans: Drinking patterns, physical illness, and negative life events

McBride, Orla, Adamson, Gary, Bunting, Brendan and McCann, Siobhan (2009) Characteristics of DSM-IV alcohol diagnostic orphans: Drinking patterns, physical illness, and negative life events. DRUG AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE, 99 (1-3). pp. 272-279. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.08.008


Background: Interest in subthreshold psychiatric disorders has increased recently. Diagnostic orphans experience one to two criteria of alcohol dependence but do not meet the diagnostic criteria for a DSM-IV alcohol use disorder (AUD). This study investigated the impact of subthreshold alcohol symptoms on three domains: physical illness, drinking patterns, and the occurrence of negative life events. Method: Current drinkers (n = 26,946) in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) were divided into five diagnosis groups: no-AUD; one-criterion orphans (reference group), two-criterion orphans, alcohol abuse, and alcohol dependence. Exploratory factor analysis examined the factor structure of items in the Alcohol Use Disorders and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (AUDADIS-IV) relating to each life domains. Factors were related to the diagnosis groups and background covariates using latent variable modeling. Results: One-criterion orphans did not differ from the other groups with regards to physical illness. One- and two-criterion orphans differed significantly in relation to drinking patterns, with the latter group engaging in hazardous drinking behaviours more frequently. The dependence group were more likely to experience higher estimates of social problems compared to one-criterion orphans. One-criterion orphans were more likely than the abuse group to experience financial problems but less likely than the dependence group to experience family-related legal problems. Conclusions: Diagnostic orphans were more impaired than those with no-AUD or alcohol abuse in specific life domains; however, diagnostic orphans were significantly less impaired than those with alcohol dependence. Diagnostic orphans may be an important group for early ease identification and intervention. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Psychology Research Institute
Psychology Research Institute > Population Health Sciences and Mental Health Services
Psychology Research Institute > Psychotraumatology, Mental Health & Suicidal Behaviour
ID Code:1505
Deposited By: Mrs Fiona Harkin
Deposited On:23 Dec 2009 09:06
Last Modified:25 Nov 2016 14:38

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