The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 234-241

Assessing the Co-occurring Capability of Mental Health Treatment Programs: the Dual Diagnosis Capability in Mental Health Treatment (DDCMHT) Index

  • Heather J. GothamAffiliated withMid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center, School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Kansas City Email author 
  • , Jessica L. BrownAffiliated withDivision of Policy and Planning, Office of Behavioral Health, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
  • , Joseph E. ComatyAffiliated with
  • , Mark P. McGovernAffiliated withDartmouth Medical School
  • , Ronald E. ClausAffiliated withWestat

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The Dual Diagnosis Capability in Mental Health Treatment (DDCMHT) Index was developed to assess the capability of mental health programs to provide substance abuse and co-occurring treatment services. The DDCMHT is an objective scale rated following a site visit that includes semi-structured interviews with staff at all levels, review of program documents and client charts, and ethnographic observation of the milieu and setting. Using data from 67 mental health programs across six states, this study found that the DDCMHT had excellent total score reliability, variable subscale reliability, high inter-rater reliability (n = 18), and moderate construct validity (n = 22). Results also suggest that many mental health programs are at a relatively low level of capability for the delivery of care to individuals with co-occurring disorders. Results from this important new benchmark measure, the DDCMHT, can be used with programs in implementation planning and with treatment systems, states, or national organizations to guide policy change.


Co-occurring disorders Fidelity Substance use disorders Implementation