Share This

The purpose of this study was to evaluate visual function, attention and psychological profiles in consumer and abstainer alcohol dependency syndrome (ADS) patients in a Portuguese population. The study was a quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional and correlational study over a one-year period of Jan-Dec 2019 of 176 patients (100 male, 76 female) aged 52.47 ±8.94 years. The consumer group had 121 subjects with alcohol dependence of six years. The abstinent group had 55 subjects; 14 abstinent for 6-12 months, 23 for one year, five for 3-6 years, 10 for 6-10 years and three for >10 years. One hundred and twelve consumers had alcohol levels of 0.00g/l when visual function was measured. Eighty were in employment, 80 had basic educational levels, 83 had their own home and 85 lived alone. Subjects displayed physical and emotional symptoms including tremors, decreased reaction times, euphoria and anxiety. Eighty-one percent had attended ophthalmology appointments with most (61%) complaining of blurred or loss of vision. Overall, 98 had altered visual acuity but with no significant difference across groups. Altered near point of convergence was found for 84 but not significant across groups. Altered near stereoacuity was found for 90 and reduced contrast sensitivity for 70. Changes overall were more prevalent in the consumer group than in abstainers. Consumers had higher averages for depression responses followed by paranoid ideation and obsession. Abstainers had higher prevalence for obsession followed by paranoid ideation and depression. The results suggest, overall, that abstainers have fewer psychological effects than consumers. The results show alcohol dependence affected visual function to varying degrees and mainly visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, positive and negative fusional vergence and near stereoacuity but with no significant differences between consumers and abstainers. Limitations of the study include a lack of a non-alcoholic dependent control group. The authors conclude changes in attention and visual function, along with psychological functions, should be considered in alcohol rehabilitation.

Visual function and psychological variables in alcohol dependency syndrome.
Poças IM, Grilo A, Lino P, et al.
Share This
Fiona Rowe (Prof)

Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, UK.

View Full Profile