FSD2730 Cognitive Functions and Coping Skills of Alcoholics 1987-1988 and Follow-up 2014

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  • Saarnio, Pekka (University of Helsinki. Department of Social Policy)


addiction, alcoholism, coping, drinking behaviour, medical treatment methods, rehabilitation, social work

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The data are part of a research project studying clients and staff of Finnish rehabilitation centres treating people with substance abuse problems. This dataset covers the treatment and rehabilitation of male alcoholics treated in an alcohol rehabilitation centre.

The data were collected by using questionnaires, learning potential tests and static tests. There were three separate questionnaires: one for background information, the Coping Behaviours Inventory with modified response categories, and the Effectiveness of Coping Behaviours Inventory. Learning potential tests included matrices test (a modified version of Raven's Progressive Matrices) and a static version of the 20-questions task. Static tests included WAIS Digit Symbol, Trail Making Test, WAIS Block Design and Embedded Figures Test (see Saarnio, 1990).

The respondents' alcohol use was surveyed with questions covering, among others, the age when they had started alcohol use, duration of problematic alcohol use, duration of the latest period of drinking, amount of alcohol used when drinking heavily, and other intoxicating substances used. Social and health consequences of drinking were examined with the Short Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (SMAST) and with further questions on the consequences (e.g. termination of relationship, loss of job, delirium tremens, cirrhosis). The locations in which and people with whom the respondents mainly drank were investigated as well as the time that had passed between the latest drink and arrival to the rehabilitation centre.

The Coping Behaviours Inventory and the Effectiveness of Coping Behaviours Inventory were both questionnaires with 36 items. The items in the inventories were identical but the response scales differed. In the former inventory, the respondents were asked to select ways in which they had tried to stop themselves from drinking again. These included, among others, "telephoning a friend", "staying indoors - hiding", "going to AA meeting" and "eating a good meal". For the ECBI, the respondents were requested to estimate how well the techniques they had tried had worked.

The data have been supplemented with follow-up variables on the respondents' situation in 2014. The variables contain information on whether the respondent was still alive and if not, when he had died and what the cause of death had been.

The background variables included, among others, the respondent's age, marital status, type of municipality, housing tenure, level of education, total number of years in education, months in employment in the previous six months, employment status, gross monthly income in the previous six months, and education level, alcohol use and potential break-up or divorce of the parents.

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