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Tackling heterogeneity: Individual variability of emotion decoding deficits in severe alcohol use disorder

Abstract : Background: Severe alcohol use disorder (SAUD) is associated with social cognition deficits. Patients with SAUD are impaired for the recognition of emotional facial expressions, particularly at early stages of abstinence. These deficits damage interpersonal relations and increase relapse risk. However, uncertainties still abound on their variation across emotions and on the heterogeneity of emotional impairments across patients. We addressed these questions by exploring how the deficit varies according to emotions' type/intensity and patients' heterogeneity. Methods: Sixty-five recently detoxified patients with SAUD and 65 matched healthy controls performed the Facial Emotion Recognition Test, assessing the ability to identify six emotions (anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness) displayed by morphed faces with various intensities. Accuracy scores and detection thresholds were collected for each emotion. Beyond group comparisons, multiple single-case analyses determined the percentage of patients presenting decoding deficits for each emotion. Results: When current depression and anxiety symptoms were controlled for, patients did not present a general emotion decoding deficit, but were rather characterized by specific deficits for disgust/contempt in accuracy, and for disgust in detection threshold scores. Single-case analyses showed that only a third of patients presented a clinically significant emotional deficit. Conclusions: Patients with SAUD only present emotional decoding deficits for specific interpersonal emotions (disgust/contempt) when subclinical psychopathological states are controlled for, and show no general emotional impairment. This goes against the proposal of a generalized social cognition deficit in this population. This group effect moreover masks a massive heterogeneity across patients, which has implications at experimental and clinical levels.
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https://hal.univ-lille.fr/hal-03666420
Contributeur : Fabien d'Hondt Connectez-vous pour contacter le contributeur
Soumis le : jeudi 12 mai 2022 - 14:06:58
Dernière modification le : samedi 14 mai 2022 - 03:36:37

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Pierre Maurage, Arthur Pabst, Séverine Lannoy, Fabien d'Hondt, Philippe de Timary, et al.. Tackling heterogeneity: Individual variability of emotion decoding deficits in severe alcohol use disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, Elsevier, 2021, 279, pp.299-307. ⟨10.1016/j.jad.2020.10.022⟩. ⟨hal-03666420⟩

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