Subjective Reactions to Alcohol Cue Exposure: A Qualitative Analysis of Patients' Self-Reports

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Ninety-one individuals receiving outpatient alcohol treatment received 1 session of behavioral cue exposure to their usual alcoholic beverage. Verbatim transcripts of the session were analyzed with a multilevel process that focused on the classification of participants' verbal reactions to alcohol cues. Participant responses were first classified into 1 of 2 categories: (a) approach toward alcohol or (b) avoidance of alcohol. Next, 7 approach categories (e.g., smells good) and 6 avoidance categories (e.g., not tempted/disinterested) were identified. Interrater agreement for 12 of the 13 categories was above .80. Post hoc analyses of several craving variables provided support for the qualitative data analyses. Overall, the results support M. J. Breiner, W. G. K. Stritzke, and A. R. Lang's (1999) motivational model of alcohol craving that incorporates both inclinations to approach alcohol as well as avoid alcohol.

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