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Publication Abstract Display
Type: Poster
Title: Neurocognitive deficits are associated with risk of unemployment among methamphetamine dependent adults.
Authors: Weber E, Blackstone KB, Iudicello JE, Morgan EE, Grant I, Moore DJ, Woods SP, and the TMARC Group
Date: 02-15-2012
Abstract:Unemployment rates are high among chronic methamphetamine (MA) users and carry a significant economic burden, yet little is known about the neurocognitive and psychiatric predictors of employment in this vulnerable population. The present study examined this issue in 63 participants who met DSM-­‐IV criteria for MA dependence within the last 18 months relative to 47 comparison subjects without histories of MA use disorders. Participants with HIV infection, severe neuropsychological or psychiatric conditions that might affect cognition (e.g., seizure disorder, schizophrenia), or a positive breathalyzer or urine toxicology screen on the day of testing were excluded. Enrolled participants completed a comprehensive neurocognitive, psychiatric and neuromedical evaluation. Consistent with previous research, a logistic regression revealed MA dependence as a significant predictor of full-­‐time employment status (p=0.025; odds ratio=2.84), even when including demographic and neuropsychiatric factors on which the groups differed (i.e., education, ethnicity, and other substance dependence diagnoses) as covariates. Within the MA-­‐dependent sample, a follow-­‐up regression indicated that employment status was independently predicted by global neurocognitive functioning (p<0.05) along with history of intravenous MA use (p< 0.01) in a model that also included hepatitis C infection and neuropsychiatric factors (e.g., MDD, ASPD). At the domain level, the neurocognitive effect was driven by tests of motor coordination and working memory (ps<0.05). These findings indicate that neurocognitive deficits play a significant role in the employment status of MA-­‐ dependent individuals, and highlight the need for vocational rehabilitation and supported employment programs that assess and address cognitive skills in this population.

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