Centre de Traitement des Addictions, Hôpital Emile Roux, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, 94450 Limeil-Brévannes, France
Background: To investigate the improvement in quality of life (QoL) of alcohol-dependent patients during a 3-week inpatient withdrawal programme, and to identify the sociodemographic, clinical and alcohol-related variables associated with baseline QoL on admission and with improvement of QoL during residential treatment.
Methods: This prospective, observational study included 414 alcohol-dependent patients, hospitalised for a period of 3 weeks. QoL was measured on admission and at discharge using the French version of the Medical Outcome Study SF-36. The mean scores for each dimension and for the Physical and Mental Component Summary scores were calculated.
Results: The mean scores per dimension and the mean Physical and Mental Component Summary scores were significantly lower on admission than at discharge; the lowest scores being observed for social functioning and role limitations due to emotional problems. At discharge, the mean scores per dimension were similar to those observed in the French general population. Female gender, age >45 years, living alone, working as a labourer or employee, somatic comorbidity, and the existence of at least five criteria for alcohol dependence according to the DSM-IV classification were associated with a low Physical Component Summary score on admission; psychiatric comorbidity, the presence of at least five DSM-IV dependence criteria, smoking and suicidality were associated with a low Mental Component Summary score on admission. The increase in Physical and Mental Component Summary scores during hospitalisation was more marked when the initial scores were low. Apart from the initial score, the greatest improvement in Physical Component Summary score was seen in patients with a high alcohol intake and in those without a somatic comorbidity; the increase in Mental Component Summary score was greatest in patients without psychotic symptoms and in those who abused or were dependent on illegal drugs.
Conclusion: QoL improvement after a residential treatment was related to low QoL scores at admission. Improvement in physical component of QoL was related to baseline alcohol intake and good somatic status. Improvement in mental component of QoL was related to other drugs abuse/dependence.
Keywords: alcohol-dependent patients, residential treatment, quality of life