Objectives. To evaluate the impaired attention selection (Stroop interference effect) and general performance [reaction times (RTs)] on the Stroop task among methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pathological gambling (PG), both PG/OCD or none, and the influence if having ADHD. Methods. Eighty-six patients and 15 control subjects underwent the Stroop task, which measured RTs of condition-related words (color, obsessive compulsive disorder, pathological gambling, addiction) and neutral words. Results. MMT patients had longer RTs on the Stroop task compared with controls. RTs were longer among patients with OCD and in those who abused drugs on the study day. The combined PG/OCD group had the longest RTs, but they were also characterized as abusing more drugs, being older, and having worse cognitive status. Stroop color interference differed only among MMT patients with ADHD, and it was higher among those with OCD than those without OCD. The modified condition-related Stroop did not show any interference effect of OCD, addiction, or gambling words. Conclusions. MMT patients had generally poorer performance, as indicated by longer RTs, that were related to clinical OCD, drug abuse, poor cognitive state, and older age. Patients with both clinical OCD and ADHD had a higher Stroop interference effect, which is a reflection of an attention deficit. In order to improve clinical approach and treatment of MMT patients, OCD and ADHD should be evaluated (and treated as needed).
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Methadone maintenance treatment
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Pathological gambling
- Stroop interference