To objectively assess prospective memory (PM) performance of individuals with alcohol dependence and determine whether the use of an imagery technique at the point of encoding can enhance their performance.
An independent group design was used to compare individuals with alcohol dependence with social drinkers.
One UK residential substance misuse service.
24 abstinent ‘individuals with alcohol dependence’ and 24 social drinkers matched on age, gender and years of education
The Virtual Week (VW); Story Recall; a Category Fluency task; Trail Making Test (TMT); a Single Digit Cancellation Task (SDCT); Spot the Word; State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI); Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II); The Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire (SAD-Q)
Event based PM task performance of individuals with alcohol dependence was strongly associated with indices of alcohol usage (p < 0.001), and was significantly impaired compared to that of social drinkers (p < 0.001). Imagining improved social drinkers’ time based PM but not that of individuals with alcohol dependence.
Individuals with alcohol dependence may experience prospective memory deficits which may be due to difficulties with effective strategy application
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