Profiles of Childhood Trauma in Patients with Alcohol Dependence and Their Associations with Addiction-Related Problems

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Abstract

Background:

The high occurrence of childhood trauma in individuals with alcohol dependence is well-recognized. Nevertheless, researchers have rarely studied which types of childhood trauma often co-occur and how these combinations of different types and severities of childhood trauma are related to the patients' current addiction-related problems. We aimed to identify childhood trauma profiles in patients with alcohol dependence and examined relations of these trauma profiles with the patients' current addiction-related problems.

Methods:

In 347 alcohol-dependent patients, 5 types of childhood trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and physical neglect) were measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Childhood trauma profiles were identified using cluster analysis. The patients' current severity of addiction-related problems was assessed using the European Addiction Severity Index.

Results:

We identified 6 profiles that comprised different types and severities of childhood trauma. The patients' trauma profiles predicted the severity of addiction-related problems in the domains of psychiatric symptoms, family relationships, social relationships, and drug use.

Conclusions:

Childhood trauma profiles may provide more useful information about the patient's risk of current addiction-related problems than the common distinction between traumatized versus nontraumatized patients.

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