Spirituality mediates state anxiety but not trait anxiety and depression in alcohol recovery

Bálint Andó, Péter Zoltán Álmos, Viola Luca Németh, Ildikó Kovács, Anna Fehér-Csókás, Ildikó Demeter, Sándor Rózsa, Róbert Urbán, Eszter Kurgyis, Petronella Szikszay, Zoltán Janka, Zsolt Demetrovics, Anita Must

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: Background and objectives: Twelve-step based interventions promote the recovery from alcohol dependence, support relapse prevention and are associated with improved mental status indices (e.g. depression). This treatment model largely relies on spiritual experience. We tested three different alcohol treatment settings, which differently involve elements of spirituality in order to reveal its possible mediator effect on the level of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Methods: Patients were involved from (1) detoxification (n = 34), (2) long-term – 12-step based – therapeutic community treatment (n = 89), (3) and from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups after at least 3 years of attendance (n = 46). Anxiodepressive symptoms and spirituality/transcendence were compared and the potential mediator role of spirituality was assessed in the levels of depressive and anxiety symptoms. Results: Long-term 12-step based rehabilitation and sustained AA attendance was connected to lower levels of anxiodepressive symptoms and to more pronounced spirituality. The spiritual component of the different treatments played a mediator role in the decrease of state anxiety but this mediation was not detected in the case of depressive symptoms and trait anxiety. Conclusions/Importance: The role of spirituality in the decrease of state anxiety indicates acute beneficial effect. Therefore, long term, regular attendance in AA groups is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-348
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Substance Use
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2016


  • Alcohol dependence
  • mediation model
  • spirituality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)

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    Andó, B., Álmos, P. Z., Németh, V. L., Kovács, I., Fehér-Csókás, A., Demeter, I., Rózsa, S., Urbán, R., Kurgyis, E., Szikszay, P., Janka, Z., Demetrovics, Z., & Must, A. (2016). Spirituality mediates state anxiety but not trait anxiety and depression in alcohol recovery. Journal of Substance Use, 21(4), 344-348. https://doi.org/10.3109/14659891.2015.1021869