A systematic review of self-report and behavioural measures of the Addiction Neuroclinical Assessment constructs of incentive salience and negative emotionality, in adults who use psychoactive drugs.

Friday, 25 November, 2022 - 13:20 to 14:50


The Addiction Neuroclinical Assessment (ANA) is a neuroscience-based framework that describes three neurobiological domains believed to be disrupted across the spectrum of substance use disorders (SUD): incentive salience (dysfunctional reward valuation); negative emotionality (dysfunctional emotional regulation) and cognitive control (dysfunctional executive function). These domains are intervention targets in treatment but poor access to valid, reliable and practical measurement tools limits routine assessment.

As part of an overall aim to develop a standardised test battery to characterise performance in these domains for people with SUD, we have conducted a systematic review to, first, identify the self-report and behavioural instruments measuring the incentive salience and negative emotionality domains and second, evaluate these in relation to their practicality for use by general staff in substance use treatment services.

A systematic search of PubMed and PsycInfo was conducted to identify studies published between January 2011 and September 2021 which used self-report measures and/or behavioural tasks to assess constructs of incentive salience and/or negative emotionality (PROSPERO CRD42021269568).

Following title and abstract screening, 1091 papers reporting using instruments to assess incentive salience constructs and 1159 papers assessing negative emotionality, were screened in full. Over 30 self-report and behavioural tools were identified. These were measuring, approach and avoidance tendencies, cue induced craving, attentional bias (incentive salience) and emotional regulation scales (negative emotionality) among others among people with a range of severity of substance use (sporadic vs pathological) in different settings (community vs treatment).

In research contexts, there have been many assessments to date employed to assess these domains of cognitive functioning. Many of these are wholly impractical for application in a general substance use treatment setting due to expense, time, access, and interpretability challenges. We propose a framework for the practical assessment of a more clearly and narrowly focussed definition of these domains.




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