Interoceptive accuracy and interoceptive sensibility in individuals with alcohol use disorder–

A. Jakubczyk, J. Skrzeszewski, E.M. Trucco, H. Suszek, J. Zaorska, M. Nowakowska,
A. Michalska, M. Wojnar, M. Kopera

Alcohol use disorder, interoceptive accuracy, interoceptive sensibility, anxiety


Interoception may contribute to substance use disorder as it relates to the body’s experience of substance use or withdrawal. However, only a few studies have directly investigated associations between interoception and alcohol use. The objective of this study was to compare individuals with alcohol use disorder (AUD) and healthy controls on interoceptive sensibility and accuracy.


The sample was comprised of two groups: individuals meeting criteria for AUD (N=114) and healthy controls (N=110) not meeting criteria for AUD. Interoceptive sensibility was assessed with a self report measure (the Private Body Consciousness subscale) and interoceptive accuracy – with a behavioral measure (the Schandry test). In addition, associations between interoception and other well-recognized correlates of AUD (sleep problems, depressive and anxiety symptoms, impulsivity) were tested. Barratt’s Impulsiveness Scale, Brief Symptom Inventory, and Athens Insomnia Scale were utilized to assess psychopathological symptoms as covariates.


When controlling for level of anxiety, sleep problems, age, sex and education, individuals with AUD scored significantly higher on self-reported interoceptive sensibility and lower on interoceptive accuracy in comparison to healthy controls. Higher interoceptive sensibility was associated with more severe sleep problems and anxiety symptoms.


These results have to be treated as preliminary and need to be replicated; however, findings indicate that interoception may present a novel therapeutic target for treatment of AUD.