Decisional balance and processes of change in community-recruited with moderate-high versus mild severity of cannabis dependence

Francisca López-Torrecillas, Eva María López-Quirantes, Antonio Maldonado, Natalia Albein-Urios, Ma Del Mar Rueda, Antonio Verdejo-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Decisional Balance and Processes of Change are generally addressed in motivational interventions for the treatment of cannabis use disorders. However, specific aspects of these multifaceted constructs, with greater relevance for severe cannabis users, need to be ascertained to enable better interventions. This study aimed to compare the different facets of decisional balance and processes of change between mild and severe cannabis users in a community-based sample of young undergraduates. Thirty-one severe cannabis users and 31 mild cannabis users, indicated with the Severity of Dependence Scale, were assessed using the Decisional Balance Questionnaire (DBQ) and the Processes of Change Questionnaire (PCQ). We found that severe cannabis users had higher scores in the DBQ dimensions of Utilitarian Gains for the Self, Utilitarian Gains for Significant Others, and Self-approval, as well as in the total subscale of Gains but not Losses. The group of severe cannabis users also had higher scores in the PCQ dimensions of Self-revaluations and Counter-conditioning. Our results pinpoint specific dimensions of Decisional Balance and Processes of Change that are endorsed by severe cannabis users. This knowledge could be applied to inform motivational interventions targeting severe cannabis users.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0188476
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017


  • cannabis
  • drug users
  • behavior
  • cognition
  • smoking habits
  • consciousness
  • psychometrics
  • self-consciousness

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