Prognostic value of motor timing in treatment outcome in patients with alcohol- and/or cocaine use disorder in a rehabilitation program

S.Y. Young, M. Kidd, J.J. van Hoof, S. Seedat

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


© 2018 Young, Kidd, van Hoof and Seedat.Introduction: Individuals with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) often have cognitive deficits in multiple domains, including motor timing deficits, with recovery times of up to 1 year. Cognitive deficits influence treatment outcomes and abstinence. To our knowledge, timing deficits have not been investigated with regard to treatment outcome and relapse. Methods: This prospective study tested the prognostic value of motor timing in SUD with regard to treatment outcome. The study sample consisted of 74 abstinent in-patients at a private treatment programme for drug/alcohol dependence at the Momentum Mental Healthcare clinic in Somerset West, South Africa, diagnosed with alcohol and/or cocaine dependence. Participants were tested at three points: (i) Within 72 hours of the start of the treatment programme (ii) after completion of the treatment programme at 8 weeks (measure of treatment response) through filling out self-report questionnaires and experimental motor task testing, and (iii) a third visit followed through a telephonic interview at 12-months (measure of relapse). Results: Motor timing alone predicted 27 percent of the variance in alcohol self-efficacy score change, and 25 percent variance in cocaine self-efficacy change scores at treatment completion. Specifically, spatial errors, synchronization errors and inter- response interval errors of a spatial tapping task at baseline predicted self-efficacy in alcohol self-efficacy. Cocaine self-efficacy was predicted by spatial errors and contact times of a spatial tapping task at very high tempi (300 ms) only. The high rate of dropout at 12 months post-treatment did not allow for further analysis of the prognostic value of motor timing on relapse. Conclusions: The results of this investigation show us that motor timing holds prognostic value with regard to treatment outcomes. Motor timing predictors for relapse require further investigation going forward.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1945
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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