Psychotic experiences in the course of alcohol withdrawal symptoms: locus of control among patients with and without delirium and analysis of subjective experiences in delirium
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Psychiatr Pol 2011;45(1):9–19
Aim. The comparison of the locus of control in groups of patients hospitalised due to alcohol withdrawal with and without delirium and analysis of psychotic experiences of patients with delirium. Methods. 25 patients with alcohol withdrawal with delirium and 25 without delirium took part in the study. They filled-in the Internal-External (I-E) Locus of Control Scale by Rotter; Multidimensional Health Locus of Control (MHLC) scale; the group with delirium also did the Psychopathological Symptoms Inventory, by Bizon et al. Results. The mean score in I-E Locus of Control Scale in the group with delirium was more external than in the group without delirium (M=13.28; SD=2.762 versus M=11.64; SD=2.612; t((48)) =-2.157; p=0.036). Group with delirium had also lower mean score in the dimension of internal control in MHLC, than the group without delirium (M=24.8; SD=6.149 versus M=26.8; SD=4.648; t((48))=1.99; p=0.04). There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in the other subscales. The auditory and visual hallucinations were most common among patients with delirium (84%, 80% respectively, as well as delusions of taking part in not existing events (92%) and persecutory delusions (80%). Psychotic experiences influenced behaviour in nearly 50% of the cases. Conclusions. A more external locus of control may be one of the factors contributing to the development of alcohol delirium. The content of psychotic experiences seems to have impact on the behaviour of many patients with alcohol delirium.