• Laura Stevens
  • Patricia Betanzos-Espinosa
  • Cleo L Crunelle
  • Esperanza Vergara-Moragues
  • Herbert Roeyers
  • Oscar Lozano
  • Geert Dom
  • Francisco Gonzalez-Saiz
  • Wouter Vanderplasschen
  • Antonio Verdejo-García
  • Miguel Pérez-García

BACKGROUND: The treatment of cocaine-dependent individuals (CDI) is substantially challenged by high drop-out rates, raising questions regarding contributing factors. Recently, a number of studies have highlighted the potential of greater focus on the clinical significance of neurocognitive impairments in treatment-seeking cocaine users. In the present study, we hypothesized that disadvantageous decision-making would be one such factor placing CDI at greater risk for treatment drop-out.

METHODS: In order to explore this hypothesis, the present study contrasted baseline performance (at treatment onset) on two validated tasks of decision-making, the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Cambridge Gamble Task (CGT) in CDI who completed treatment in a residential Therapeutic Community (TC) (N = 66) and those who dropped out of TC prematurely (N = 84).

RESULTS: Compared to treatment completers, CDI who dropped out of TC prematurely did not establish a consistent and advantageous response pattern as the IGT progressed and exhibited a poorer ability to choose the most likely outcome on the CGT. There were no group differences in betting behavior.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that neurocognitive rehabilitation of disadvantageous decision-making may have clinical benefits in CDI admitted to long-term residential treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number149
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 49994058