UBC study: Body language and alcohol relapse

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 55 , No. 2 , March 2013 , Pages 77 News

A University of British Columbia study has found that body language can indicate whether a problem drinker will relapse. The study, which explored drinking and health outcomes in newly sober recovering alcoholics, is the first to show that physical manifestations of shame—like slumped shoulders—can directly predict a relapse in people who struggle with substances.

The study, published in February in Clinical Psychological Science, assessed the body language and self-reported shame of 46 participants in videotaped interviews, several months apart. In an initial session participants were asked to “describe the last time you drank and felt badly about it.” In a second session, 4 months later, participants were asked to report their drinking behaviors. They completed questionnaires about their physical and mental health at both of the sessions.

The study found that participants who displayed greater levels of shame behaviors in the first session were more likely to relapse by the second session. In contrast, written or verbal expressions of shame did not predict their likelihood of relapse.

According to the researchers, the study’s findings suggest that shaming people for difficult-to-curb behaviors may be the wrong approach to take; rather than preventing future occurrences of such behaviors, shaming may lead to an increase in these behaviors.

. UBC study: Body language and alcohol relapse. BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 2, March, 2013, Page(s) 77 - News.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.


For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply