A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Exploring the proposed DSM-5 diagnostic threshold and severity scale for the alcohol use disorder
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
Aims :¦Several studies have questioned the validity of separating the diagnosis of alcohol abuse from that of alcohol dependence, and the DSM-5 task force has proposed combining the criteria from these two diagnoses to assess a single category of alcohol use disorders (AUD). Furthermore, the DSM-5 task force has proposed including a new 2-symptom threshold and a severity scale based on symptom counts for the AUD diagnosis. The current study aimed to examine these modifications in a large population-based sample.¦Method :¦Data stemmed from an adult sample (N=2588 ; mean age 51.3 years (s.d.: 0.2), 44.9% female) of current and lifetime drinkers from the PsyCoLaus study, conducted in the Lausanne area in Switzerland. AUDs and validating variables were assessed using a semi-structured diagnostic interview for the assessment of alcohol¦and other major psychiatric disorders. First, the adequacy of the proposed 2- symptom threshold was tested by comparing threshold models at each possible cutoff and a linear model, in relation to different validating variables. The model with the smallest Akaike Criterion Information (AIC) value was established as the best¦model for each validating variable. Second, models with varying subsets of individual AUD symptoms were created to assess the associations between each symptom and the validating variables. The subset of symptoms with the smallest AIC value was established as the best subset for each validator.¦Results :¦1) For the majority of validating variables, the linear model was found to be the best fitting model. 2) Among the various subsets of symptoms, the symptoms most frequently associated with the validating variables were : a) drinking despite having knowledge of a physical or psychological problem, b) having had a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drinking and c) craving. The¦least frequent symptoms were : d) drinking in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended, e) spending a great deal of time in obtaining, using or recovering from alcohol use and f) failing to fulfill major role obligations.¦Conclusions :¦The proposed DSM-5 2-symptom threshold did not receive support in our data. Instead, a linear AUD diagnosis was supported with individuals receiving an increasingly severe AUD diagnosis. Moreover, certain symptoms were more frequently associated with the validating variables, which suggests that these¦symptoms should be considered as more severe.
alcohol use disorders, DSM-5, threshold, severity scale
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