Background: Craving is a dynamic state that is both theoretically and empirically linked to relapse in addiction. Static measures cannot adequately capture the dynamic nature of craving, and research has shown that these measures are limited in their capacity to link craving to treatment outcomes. Methods: The current study reports on assessments of craving collected 4x-day across 12 days from 73 patients in residential treatment for opioid dependence. Analyses investigated whether the within-person assessments yielded expected across- and within-day variability, whether levels of craving changed across and within days, and, finally, whether individual differences in craving variability predicted post-residential treatment relapse. Results: Preliminary analyses found acceptable levels of data entry compliance and reliability. Consistent with expectations, craving varied both between (46%) and within persons, with most within-person variance (over 40%) existing within days. Other patterns that emerged indicated that, on average, craving declined across the 12-days of assessment, and was generally strongest at mid-day. Analyses also found that patients’ person-level craving variability predicted post-treatment relapse, above and beyond their mean levels of craving. Conclusion: Analyses support the reliability, sensitivity, and potential utility of the 4x-day, 12-day assessment protocol for measuring craving during residential treatment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health