Treatment seeking in cannabis dependence: the role of social cognition

Papinczak, Zoe E., Connor, Jason P., Feeney, Gerald F. X., Young, Ross McD. and Gullo, Matthew J. (2017) Treatment seeking in cannabis dependence: the role of social cognition. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 170 142-146. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.11.005

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Author Papinczak, Zoe E.
Connor, Jason P.
Feeney, Gerald F. X.
Young, Ross McD.
Gullo, Matthew J.
Title Treatment seeking in cannabis dependence: the role of social cognition
Journal name Drug and Alcohol Dependence   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1879-0046
Publication date 2017-01-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.11.005
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 170
Start page 142
End page 146
Total pages 5
Place of publication E Park, Shannon, Clare Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background and aims: Relatively few cannabis dependent individuals seek treatment and little is known about the determinants of treatment seeking. Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) provides a useful framework for examining human behaviour and motivation which may be helpful in explaining treatment seeking. This study examined the differences in cannabis outcome expectancies and cannabis refusal self-efficacy between treatment seekers and non-treatment seekers with cannabis dependence.

Design: Non-treatment seekers were referred to an illicit drug diversion program. Treatment seekers commenced an outpatient cannabis treatment program and completed a comprehensive assessment that included measures of cannabis outcome expectancies and refusal self-efficacy.

Setting: A public hospital alcohol and drug outpatient clinic.

Participants: 269 non-treatment seekers and 195 individuals commencing cannabis dependence treatment.

Measurements: The Cannabis Expectancy Questionnaire (CEQ), Cannabis Refusal Self-Efficacy Questionnaire (CRSEQ), Severity of Dependence Scale – Cannabis (SDS-C), General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and Readiness to Change Questionnaire (RTC) were completed.

Findings: Treatment seekers had significantly higher levels of negative cannabis outcome expectancies and significantly lower levels of emotional relief refusal self-efficacy (belief in ability to resist using cannabis when experiencing negative affect) (ps < 0.001). Treatment seekers had significantly higher levels of psychological distress and self-perceived cannabis dependence compared to non-treatment seekers (ps < 0.001).

Conclusions: High negative cannabis outcome expectancies and low emotional relief refusal self-efficacy may play a key role in motivation to seek treatment.
Keyword Cannabis
Cannabis dependence
Treatment initiation
Treatment seeking
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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