The relationship between neurocognitive functioning and treatment response among adolescent substance-abusing patients
Although results have been mixed, the majority of studies examining the relationship between neurocognitive performance and treatment response indicators among adult substanceabusing patients indicate that patients with measurable neurocognitive impairment have poorer treatment response and outcomes compared to their unimpaired counterparts. These
fi ndings have important treatment implications and have served as the rationale for specific kinds of interventions with neurocognitively impaired patients, such as cognitive rehabilitation. Unfortunately, parallel studies with adolescent substance-abusing patients have not been reported. In this study, 114 adolescent substance-abusing patients in a residential treatment program were evaluated with the Neuropsychological Screening Battery (NSB). Of those evaluated, 40 patients (35%) were categorized as cognitively impaired. Compared to their unimpaired counterparts, impaired patients were more likely to be removed from treatment, were more likely to drop out of treatment early, and had shorter treatment tenures. Impaired
patients also had poorer substance use outcomes during a 12-month posttreatment followup period compared to unimpaired patients. Thus, as with adults, it may be important to understand the cognitive functioning of adolescent substance-abusing patients. Moreover, neuropsychological testing may be an important component of evaluation and treatment
planning for adolescent substance-abusing patients.
Flannery, B., & Fals-Stewart, W. (2007). The relationship between neurocognitive functioning and treatment response among adolescent substance-abusing patients. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(s2), P455.