Symptom Severity, Amount of Treatment, and 1-Year Outcomes Among Dual Diagnosis Patients

  • Christine Timko
  • Rudolf H. Moos


This study reports on associations among symptom severity, amount of treatment, and 1-year outcomes in a national sample of 8,622 dual diagnosis patients, who were classified at treatment entry into low-, moderate-, and high-severity groups. Patients with more severe symptoms at intake had poorer 1-year outcomes. Higher severity patients did not receive adequate “doses” of care: Compared with low-severity patients, they had a shorter duration of care, although a longer duration was associated with improved outcomes; they also were less likely to receive outpatient substance abuse treatment, although more intensive treatment was associated with better drug outcomes. High-severity patients improved more on drug and legal outcomes, but less on psychiatric and family/social outcomes, than low-severity patients did when treatment was of longer duration or higher intensity. Dual diagnosis patients with highly severe symptoms would likely benefit from a longer episode of care that includes substance abuse and psychiatric outpatient treatment.

dual diagnosis functioning outcomes substance use outcomes symptom severity treatment duration and intensity 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Timko
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rudolf H. Moos
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care SystemCenter for Health Care Evaluation
  2. 2.Stanford University Medical Center

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