A case-linkage study of comorbidity in mental health and substance misuse care populations

Author: Keene, Jan

Source: Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, Volume 12, Number 4, August 2005 , pp. 291-303(13)

Publisher: Informa Healthcare

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Abstract:

This study examines the total comorbid care ‘care population' for one geographical area. It identifies the extent of (often unrecognized) shared care between coterminous ‘care populations' in the context of the extent of assessed need and so identifies the gap between need and service provision. The study combined anonymized data for the total secondary mental health care population and all six substance misuse agency populations within one health authority population ( N ?=?646,239) over three years, to identify shared ‘dual agency' comorbid client groups (all mental health agency clients receiving specialist substance misuse treatment and vice versa). Of the total population of drug agency clients ( N ?=?1206), 28% had received mental health services, and of alcohol agency clients ( N ?=?1476), 39% had received mental health services. For a total mental health population ( N ?=?19,029), 2% had received specialist drug services, and 3% alcohol services. These figures are compared to previous estimates of assessed need in treatment populations to identify gaps in service provision. Two thirds of ‘dual agency comorbid' clients were male, 40% had attended Accident and Emergency (A&E) and half had been mental health in-patients. Mental health/drug agency populations were younger and mental health/alcohol agency populations received more mental health services.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687630412331333198

Affiliations: Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, School of Health and Social Care, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, UK

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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