Association of Appetite, Nutritional Status and Quality of Life in Alcohol and Substance Abusers
Aim: This study was conducted to detect the appetite and nutritional status of alcohol and substance abusers and to determine the relationship between their dietary habits, nutrition, and quality of life.
Subjects and Method: The study consisted of 167 substance- and 46 alcohol- abusers, in total, 213 male participants who are hospitalized in the AMATEM Service of the Manisa Hospital of Mental Health and Disease. The ages of the participants ranged from 20 to 60 years. The researcher conducted a survey through face-to-face interviews, obtained general information, and determined their dietary habits and food consumption over 24 hours. The Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire, Short Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire (SNAQ), Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) and Short Form Quality of Life Questionnaire (SF-36) were used to collect data, including the subjects’ anthropometric measurements.
Results: Based on the SNAQ 71.3% of the individuals who abuse substances and 69.6% of alcohol users have severe malnutrition; 87.4% of substance abusers and 93.5% of alcohol abusers are at risk of significant weight loss during the following 6 month-period caused by loss of appetite. The DDS of 78.3% of the alcohol abusers and 69.5% of the substance abusers was determined to be insufficient; when evaluated as a group, these individuals usually have a single meal per day (57.7%). This is more common among alcohol abusers (76.1%) than substance abusers (52.7%) (χ²= 8.880, p<0.05). The values of anthropometric measurements and body composition of substance abusers are found to be lower than those of alcohol abusers (p<0.01). Furthermore, there is a significant relationship between substance abusers’ performing physical functions and their BMI, malnutrition, appetite, and DDS (p<0.05). Social functionality of alcohol abusers was related to BMI and MUAC, mental health, appetite, and malnutrition (p<0.05).
Conclusions: This study demonstrates vital conclusions showing that nutritional and appetite status of both the alcohol and the substance abusers have deteriorated; and their quality of life was quite unsatisfactory. The nutritional status of people treated for addiction should be investigated through appropriate assessment tools, and each patient should be provided with a personal dietary program as well as pharmacological treatment.