Performance on the Stroop predicts treatment compliance in cocaine-dependent individuals.
Streeter CC., Terhune DB., Whitfield TH., Gruber S., Sarid-Segal O., Silveri MM., Tzilos G., Afshar M., Rouse ED., Tian H., Renshaw PF., Ciraulo DA., Yurgelun-Todd DA.
Treatment dropout is a problem of great prevalence and stands as an obstacle to recovery in cocaine-dependent (CD) individuals. Treatment attrition in CD individuals may result from impairments in cognitive control, which can be reliably measured by the Stroop color-word interference task. The present analyses contrasted baseline performance on the color-naming, word-reading, and interference subtests of the Stroop task in CD subjects who completed a cocaine treatment trial (completers: N=50) and those who dropped out of the trial before completion (non-completers: N=24). A logistic regression analysis was used to predict trial completion using three models with the following variables: the Stroop task subscale scores (Stroop model); the Hamilton depression rating scale (HDRS) scores (HDRS model); and both the Stroop task subscale scores and HDRS scores (Stroop and HDRS model). Each model was able to significantly predict group membership (completers vs non-completers) better than a model based on a simple constant (HDRS model p=0.02, Stroop model p=0.006, and Stroop and HDRS model p=0.003). Models using the Stroop preformed better than the HDRS model. These findings suggest that the Stroop task can be used to identify cocaine-dependent subjects at risk for treatment dropout. The Stroop task is a widely available, reliable, and valid instrument that can be easily employed to identify and tailor interventions of at risk individuals in the hope of improving treatment compliance.