, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 127-132

A Brief Treatment Engagement Intervention for Individuals with Co-occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders: Results of a Randomized Clinical Trial

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Abstract

Study objectives were to evaluate a brief intervention designed to facilitate outpatient engagement following an inpatient psychiatric stay for individuals with mental illness and substance use. A total of 102 veterans were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) Time Limited Care-Coordination (TLC), an eight-week co-occurring disorders intervention or (2) a matched attention (MA) control condition in the form of health education sessions. Both groups also received treatment as usual in inpatient and outpatient settings. Sixty-nine percent of TLC participants attended an outpatient appointment within 14 days of discharge, compared to only 33% of MA participants (P < 0.01). TLC participants were also more likely to be engaged in outpatient services at the end of the intervention period (44 vs. 22%, P < 0.01). This study provided evidence that an eight-week intervention could improve treatment engagement. Research is currently underway to examine impact of TLC intervention beyond the 8 week study period.