The Alcoholic Phenotypes among Different Multidimensional Typologies: Similarities and Their Classification Procedures

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This detailed cross-sectional analysis, obtained from a sample of alcohol-dependent patients, attempts to compare multiple methods that have been created to classify or subtype alcoholics.


The sample comprised 318 alcohol-dependent patients recruited from the alcoholism unit (NETER) of the Psychiatric Service of Santa Maria University Hospital in Lisbon (Portugal). All subjects were evaluated during the outpatient therapeutical programme for operationalized criteria, reported by each alcoholism typology.


Regarding concordance agreement (kappa values) for the three type I/II classifications, von Knorring versus Sullivan yielded the higher rate of agreement, followed by von Knorring versus Gilligan and Gilligan versus Sullivan criteria. Chi-square comparisons showed a significant overlap between Babor type A and Cloninger type I of von Knorring and Sullivan. Over-two-type classifications showed the following significant positive relations: Lesch type I versus NETER heredopathic subtype; Lesch type II versus NETER anxiopathic subtype and Babor type A; Lesch type III versus NETER tymopathic subtype; Lesch type IV versus Cloninger type II of von Knorring and Sullivan criteria; and NETER adictopathic subtype versus Cloninger type II of von Knorring, Sullivan and Gilligan criteria.


There is a significant overlap across many of the multivariate alcoholic subtypes purposed, in which much of the concordance is a function of common characteristics in subtype operationalization. Commonalities among these different subtyping classification systems offers the possibility of identifying important dimensions that better differentiate individuals among problem drinker's populations.

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